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State v. D.P.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-30-2013
Case #: A148957
Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A148957.pdf

Juvenile Law: In determining whether or not a circumstance is compelling in the case of a juvenile and thus requiring Miranda warnings, the court will look at the totality of the circumstances.

Youth appealed a judgment and assigned error to the denial of his motion to suppress evidence of statements he made to the police during an interview. Youth, a twelve-year-old boy, allegedly had sexual intercourse with a ten-year-old girl. Two officers went to youth’s school for an interview. Miranda warnings were not given. Youth argued that statements made during the interview should be suppressed because he was not given Miranda warnings and the interview was a compelling circumstance when the interview began or, in the alternative, at the point when the officer asked to swab youth’s mouth for DNA. The determination that circumstances are compelling depends on whether a reasonable child of similar age, knowledge, and experience, would have felt required to stay and answer all of the officers’ questions. The Court considered the length of the interview (one hour forty minutes), youth’s age, the repetitive and escalating nature of the questions, and the increasingly coercive tactics used by the officers, to conclude that a reasonable twelve-year-old of similar age, knowledge, and experience, placed in youth’s position, would have felt required to stay and answer all of the questions. The Court held that, given the totality of the circumstances, the setting in which the interview took place was compelling. Because Miranda warnings were not given, the evidence should be suppressed. Reversed and remanded.