Cases

United States v. O’Brien 2ndCIR 7JUN2019

In this case, the defendant argued that his statements and evidence found as a result of post-arrest consent to search should be suppressed because his Miranda waiver was not voluntary since he was on GBH and his consent was invalid for the same reason plus the fact consent was given while in custody.  The Second Circuit disagreed and noted that although addicted to GHB, the defendant stated he was willing to talk to agents and was eager to provide them with information immediately upon meeting them. The record also indicated that his ability to understand his Fifth Amendment rights and forgo them voluntarily was not impeded by his addiction to GHB.  The court held that there was no evidence that he was in a “stupor or not fully conscious” during his interactions with the officers. Accordingly, the Miranda waiver was voluntary and the statements were not suppressed. Regarding the consent to search, the court further held that custody alone does not make consent to search involuntary. Under these facts, which included not only a verbal request to consent but a written consent form, the defendant voluntarily gave consent to search without coercion and therefore the consent was valid.

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