Additional State Protections
When drafting a motion to suppress do not forget that states are typically permitted to enact laws that grant a defendant more protection than is afforded in the United States Constitution. In Michigan Department of State Police vs. Sitz, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari jurisdiction and ruled that sobriety checkpoints were valid under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. On remand to the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Michigan’s Constitution provided additional protections and that sobriety checkpoints were unconstitutional under the state constitution. A similar situation occurred in Florida after the United States Supreme Court ruled on the Moran vs. Burbine case. So even if there is a federal case on point, make sure that your state does not provide additional protections.
Moran vs. Burbaine
In 1986, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Burbaine knowingly and voluntarily waived his Fifth Amendment right to have a lawyer present during questioning. The facts of the case were as follows:
Mr. Burbaine was taken into custody by the police concerning a murder. Mr. Burbine’s sister contacted an attorney to represent her brother. The attorney contacted the police department who stated that Mr. Burbine would not be questioned until the following day. It is no surprise to find out that the police began questioning Mr. Burbaine regarding the murder less than 1 hour after they informed the attorney that the questioning would not take place until the next day. Mr. Burbaine was never informed by the police that his sister had retained an attorney for him and Mr. Burbaine waived his 5th Amendment rights. During the interrogation, Mr. Burbaine signed 3 separate statements confessing to the murder. His attorney’s moved to suppress the statements as illegally obtained in violation of Mr. Burbaine’s Fifth Amendment Rights guaranteed under the United State’s Constitution.
United States Supreme Court Holding: Neither the police conduct nor Mr. Burbaine’s ignorance of the fact that an attorney was hired to represent him and had been attempting to contact him rendered the statement’s given in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Mr. Burbaine’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel had not yet attached. Additionally, the court did not find a 14th Amendment Violation, although leaving room for a potential violation under more egregious facts.
The United States Supreme Court specifically stated that the various states may adopt different standards which have the effect of providing additional protections under state law.
Haliburton vs. State
The facts in Haliburton vs. State are substantially similar to the facts in Moran vs. Burbine. In Haliburton, the Florida Supreme Court held that Article I, Section 9 of the Florida Constitution required that the evidence in Haliburton be suppressed. The Florida Supreme Court focused on the dissenting opinion in the Burbine matter written by Justice Stevens. The main point in Justice Stevens dissent and the Haliburton opinion is “Police interference in the attorney-client relationship is the type of governmental misconduct on a matter of central importance to the administration of justice that the Due Process Clause prohibits………Just as the government cannot conceal from a suspect material and exculpatory evidence, so too the government cannot conceal from a suspect the material fact of his attorney’s communication.”
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Haliburton in a DUI Context
Appellate ruling coming soon.