Miranda Rights in Florida

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State v. Powell, 36 Fla. L. Weekly S264 (Fla. Jun 16, 2011): Reversed upon remand from United States Supreme Court, Florida v. Powell, 130 S. Ct. 1195 (2010) – Initially the Second DCA had reversed a conviction based on inadequate Miranda warnings (Warnings did not expressly state that defendant had right to have lawyer during questioning).  The Florida Supreme Court agreed with the Second DCA.  Upon granting Certiorari review, the United States Supreme Court granted the state’s petition and reversed and remanded the Florida Supreme Court’s decision (stating that “[t]he inquiry is simply whether the warnings reasonably ‘conve[y] to [a suspect] his rights as required by Miranda.’ ” Id. at 1204 (quoting Duckwoth v. Eagan, 492 U.S. 195, 203 (1989))  with a proviso that Florida may have more protections than the Federal requirements.  Upon review the Florida Supreme Court adopted the higher court’s decision and found that Florida’s Constitution provided no further protections.

“As we have previously explained, however, our conclusions in Traylor [see below] ‘were no different than those set forth in prior holdings of the United States Supreme Court.’ Owen, 696 So. 2d at 719. Moreover, we find no basis for concluding that different pre-interrogation warnings are required by the Florida Constitution than are required by the Fifth Amendment. Because the United States Supreme Court has determined that the warnings sufficiently conveyed the right to the presence of counsel as required by the Federal Constitution, we find that the warnings were likewise sufficient under the Florida Constitution. Accordingly, we now conclude that the trial court did not err in admitting Powell’s post-Miranda statements into evidence.”

Id. at S266.

In dissent, J. Pariente urges law enforcement to come up with a standardized warning. Justice Quince dissents arguing that Florida’s Constitution does provide greater protections than the Federal government and because of that the Second DCA’s decision should continue to be affirmed.

For more information regarding Rights of Florida citizens see the in-depth decision of Traylor v. State, 596 So.2d 957 (Fla. 1992).

See, Rigterink v. State, 36 Fla. L. Weekly S273 (Fla. Jun 16, 2011) for an example of the application of Powell.


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