HCBN legal analyst weighs in on Amanda Hawkins’ motion

Marc Tittlebaum is the Hill Country Breaking News Legal Analyst. He recently reviewed the motion to suppress that was filed by Amanda Hawkins’ lawyer. Attorney Tittlebaum’s study resulted in the following findings.

“In Texas, one of the main weapons that a defense attorney can use to help his client is a motion to suppress that requests the judge order certain evidence be excluded from the case.
A motion to suppress evidence is a motion filed by a defense attorney in a criminal case asking the judge to throw out (i.e. suppress) evidence that was obtained by the police because it was obtained in violation of the Constitution or Texas law.

If a judge grants a motion to suppress, the evidence that was obtained can’t be used against the defendant at trial except in very limited circumstances.

The motion filed in the Amanda Hawkins case seeks to have statements made by the Defendant that were allegedly obtained in violation of her Miranda rights.

The Miranda warning is a warning given by police to criminal suspects in police custody before they are interrogated to preserve the admissibility of their statements against them in criminal proceedings.

A typical Miranda warning can read as follows:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you by the court. With these rights in mind, are you still willing to talk to me about the charges against you?”

The Miranda warning is part of a preventive criminal procedure rule that law enforcement is required to administer to protect an individual who is in custody and subject to direct questioning or its functional equivalent from violation of her Constitutional rights.

The evidence which is sought to be excluded must have been the product of interrogation. A defendant who seeks to challenge the admissibility of a statement under Miranda must show that the statement was prompted by police conduct that constituted ‘interrogation. A volunteered statement by a person in custody does not implicate Miranda.

Here, after she was in custody. Hawkins asked at several points when she would get an attorney.  The motion argues this request constituted her assertion of the right to counsel each time it was asked by Hawkins and, therefore any statements obtained after that should be ruled inadmissible. Judge Williams has taken the motion under advisement and will issue his ruling in the future. It should be noted that the motion only addresses these statements from the Defendant made in custody”

Image provided by Marc M Tittlebaum

Marc Tittlebaum does business as Marc M Tittlebaum Attorney & Counselor At Law and is located in Kerrville.

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