Client was charged with one
felony count of possession of hydrocodone and one felony count of oxycodone.
The arrest occurred after a police officer pulled over a vehicle in which
our client was a passenger. The officer requested that both the driver
and client exit the vehicle and began questioning both of them while they
were standing outside the vehicle. Neither the driver or the client were
placed under arrest at that time. The diver stated he wasn’t sure
if there was any
illegal contraband in the vehicle and gave the officer consent to search. The officer proceeded
to search the vehicle and allegedly found oxycodone and hydrocodone near
the passenger seat.
Importance of Miranda Rights
The officer returned from the vehicle and placed the client under arrest
claiming that because the drugs were found near where he was seated, they
must be his. Without reading the client his Miranda rights, the officer
proceeded to ask the client direct questions about the narcotics he allegedly
found. While in custody, the client responded to the questioning by admitting
that he took the pills to help him sleep.
The question in this case was whether the statement from the client was
admissible. We argued that it would not be admissible because once the
officer placed the client under arrest, he was required to read him his
Miranda Rights. Because he didn’t, the alleged admission was fruit
of the poisonous tree and not admissible. Had the officer read him his
rights prior to questioning him, the statement would have been admissible.
Because he did not, the prosecution could not prove the narcotics belonged
to the client and both felony charges were dismissed.
Accused of a crime in St. Louis? You need representation from Millikan
Wright, LLC to help prepare you for success.
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