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People v. Johnson

People v. Johnson
Court Discusses Questioning an Intoxicated Defendant after Receiving Miranda Rights
The defendant, who hit a parked motor vehicle, was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The defendant was arrested after the police officer observed that he defendant had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol DUI. The defendant, while he was in his motor vehicle was asked for his license and registration and whether he was drinking by a police officer. The defendant admitted to drinking alcohol. He was read his Miranda rights after being taken to the station while in custody. After receiving his Miranda rights, he agreed to be questioned by the police officer. The defendant requested to suppress all statements made to the police on the grounds that he was intoxicated but his request was denied. The defendant was convicted of two counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, upon the verdict of the jury and the imposition of sentence. The defendant appealed to review the denial to suppress statements made by the defendants to law enforcement officials.

The Appellate Division affirmed the decision of the trial court to deny the suppression of his statements. The suppression of statements can only denied if the prosecution proved that the defendant was in custody and adequately advised of his rights and he validly waived them. While the defendant was seated in the car, he was not in custody settings within the meaning of Miranda simply because the officer requested information while in the car. When the defendant was arrested and read his Miranda rights however, he was in custodial settings. Where the defendant voluntarily waived his right to remain silent by being corporative with the police after an arrest, the statements made were admissible in court. Additionally, there was no evidence to indicate that the defendant was so intoxicated that he could not have voluntarily waived his Miranda rights before he was questioned at precinct house. Intoxication alone was insufficient to render the statement inadmissible.

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