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Suppressing a Defendant's Statement in a Criminal Case

For anyone charged with a crime in Missouri, the police probably "requested" that the person give a statement. Many times, people give statements because they feel they have to, or because the police tell them they will be released if they do only to find out that their statement is the reason they end up being held. Defendants usually regret giving a statement and often ask whether they can be suppressed. This article addresses the factors Missouri courts consider when determining whether to suppress a criminal defendant's statement.

Potential grounds for objecting to and suppressing statements include the following:

  • That the statement was involuntary
  • That the statement was taken in violation of Miranda v. Arizona
  • That the statement was the fruit of the poisonous tree
  • That the statement was taken in violation of the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel

Whether or not the statement is suppressed generally comes down to whether the court deems it was voluntary. The test for voluntariness is whether, under the totality of the circumstances, the defendant was deprived of the free choice to admit, deny, or refuse to answer and whether there was coercion of such a degree that the defendant's will was overborne at the time of the statement. Circumstances Missouri courts consider include the defendant's physical and mental condition, the length of questioning and the presence of police intimidation or coercion.

If you or a loved one have been charged in a criminal case and have given a statement to the police that you feel may hurt the case, call the criminal law attorneys at Millikan Wright, LLC for a free consultation. It may be possible to suppress the statement.

Categories: Criminal Defense

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