Chapter 5 - §5. Procedure for excluding evidence

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§5. Procedure for excluding evidence

When challenging the admissibility of a person's statement on Miranda grounds, counsel should consider (1) the available procedural mechanisms for such a challenge and (2) the associated burden of proof.

§5.1. Procedural mechanisms. To exclude evidence based on a Miranda violation, the defendant must take affirmative action or risk waiving the issue. See People v. Low (2010) 49 Cal.4th 372, 392. The methods for seeking exclusion based on a Miranda violation are procedurally identical to the methods for seeking exclusion of an involuntary statement. See "Procedural mechanisms," ch. 5-B, §4.1. When specifying the legal grounds for exclusion, practitioners should specify the exact nature of the Miranda violation, such as a failure to provide proper warnings, a failure to obtain a valid waiver, or a failure to honor an invocation; a simple assertion that the rule was violated may not be specific enough to prevent waiver. See U.S. v. Howell (9th Cir.2000) 231 F.3d 615, 620 (moving papers must allege facts with sufficient clarity and specificity to show trial court that contested issues of fact exist); see, e.g., People v. Ramos (3d Dist.2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 195, 207 (generic objection to suppress evidence on Fifth Amendment grounds was insufficient).

§5.2. Burden of proof.

1. Prosecution.

(1) Generally. The prosecution has the burden of establishing the voluntariness of a defendant's statement by a preponderance of the evidence. People v. Flores (2020) 9 Cal.5th 371, 426; People v. Sanchez (2019) 7 Cal.5th 14, 48; People v. Williams (2010) 49 Cal.4th 405, 436. This obligation includes establishing that Miranda warnings were given or, if warnings were not given, that no custodial interrogation occurred. See Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436, 444 (prosecution must demonstrate use of "procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination"); Sanchez, 7 Cal.5th at 48 (prosecution bears burden of proving that D's statement was voluntary and that no Miranda violation has occurred); In re I.F. (3d Dist.2018) 20 Cal.App.5th 735, 760 (prosecution bears burden of proving that D was not in custody); People v. Whitfield (5th Dist.1996) 46 Cal.App.4th 947, 953 (prosecution bears burden of proving that custodial interrogation did not occur). The prosecution must also establish a valid waiver of Miranda by a preponderance of the evidence. Colorado v. Connelly (1986) 479 U.S. 157, 168; Flores, 9 Cal.5th at...

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