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Judges reverse denial of motion to suppress

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found police should have given a Spanish-speaking man arrested for driving without receiving a license a Miranda warning before he filled out an information sheet. As a result of his answers, police later charged him with forgery because his name on the sheet didn’t match what he provided to his employer.

Jose Castillo-Aguilar was stopped by police because his car had a cracked windshield. He provided identification cards with two different names. Because he speaks little English and the police officer didn’t speak Spanish, the officer brought Castillo-Aguilar to the police station to find out his identity. Castillo-Aguilar was given an “information sheet” in Spanish to fill out, which asked for data such as his full name and address, time living in Goshen, the name of his car insurance company, and the name and location of his employer. He was not given a Miranda warning prior to filing out the sheet.

Based on the information he provided, police charged Castillo-Aguilar with Class C felony forgery because his employer identified Castillo-Aguilar as an employee named Gilberto Beltran. Castillo-Aguilar filed a motion to suppress his answers on the sheet and evidence collected thereafter, but the trial court denied it.

On interlocutory appeal in Jose Castillo-Aguilar v. State of Indiana, No. 20A04-1003-CR-195, the appellate court concluded Castillo-Aguilar should have been given Miranda warnings before filling out the sheet because certain questions on it – such as where he worked – were used to elicit an incriminating response that was later the basis for the charges against him. Castillo-Aguilar was subject to an “interrogation” when he was asked to fill out the information sheet at the police station, wrote Judge Melissa May.

The COA reversed the denial of his motion to suppress.

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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