State v. Heise-Fay

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 10-07-2015
  • Case #: A150955
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; & Edmonds, S. J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Compelling circumstances are when a suspect is placed in a position that a reasonable person in that position would feel compelled to answer a police officer’s questions. Compelling circumstances are determined through a totality of the circumstances based on a four factor test set forth in State v. Roble-Baker, 340 Or 631, 641 (2006).

Defendant appealed her conviction of hindering prosecution, unlawful delivery or marijuana, and endangering the welfare of a minor, contending that the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress. Defendant argued that evidence was unlawfully obtained after law enforcement officers failed to give Defendant Miranda warnings when compelling circumstances arose. Police had arrived at Defendant’s resident from a tip that a wanted man was located at the residence where possible drug manufacturing occurred and where children were present. Police began questioning Defendant who initially said that she did not know if the wanted man was at the location. The officer speaking with Defendant told her that he believed she was lying. This Court found that compelling circumstances began when the officer told Defendant that she would not be arrested if she were truthful and cooperative. This Court further found that because Defendant was not Mirandized for some time after the compelling circumstances began and because there was not a substantial break in time between the initial questioning episode and the one that occurred after the Miranda warnings were given, Defendant did not waive her right against self-incrimination in a knowing or voluntary manner, even after the belated Miranda warnings were given.

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