Does Use of Question-First by Law-Enforcement Officers Render Miranda Warnings Ineffective ?
In State v. Farris, 109 Ohio St.3d 519, 2006 Ohio 3255, 849 N.E.2d 985, the defendant was pulled over by a highway patrol trooper for speeding.
When Farris opened his window, the trooper smelled burnt marijuana coming from inside the car. Id.
The trooper asked Farris to step out of the vehicle, conducted a pat-down, and placed Farris into his police cruiser. Id.
While seated in the cruiser, the trooper asked Farris about the odor. Id. at P3.
Farris made several incriminating statements including telling the trooper that a marijuana pipe was in the trunk. Id.
The trooper then administered Miranda warnings to Farris, but did not tell him that the previous admissions could not be used against him. Id. at P4.
He then asked Farris the same questions and obtained the same responses regarding the location of the drug paraphernalia. Id.
the Ohio Supreme Court held that both statements obtained from Farris and the physical evidence that resulted were inadmissible because the use of question-first would render Miranda warnings ineffective. Id. at P49 and P52.
The court stated, "We believe that to hold otherwise would encourage law-enforcement officers to withhold Miranda warnings and would thus weaken Section 10, Article I of the Ohio Constitution." Id. at P49.