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State v. Brown

Superior Court of Maine, Kennebec

August 13, 2014

STATE OF MAINE
v.
CHRISTOPHER D. BROWN, Defendant.

ORDER ON MOTION TO SUPPRESS

A hearing was held on the Defendant's Motion to Suppress on August 6, 2014. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Defendant conceded that the stop of his vehicle and his subsequent investigatory detention were lawful because the stop and detention were based on reasonable articulable suspicion. The Defendant also conceded that there existed probable cause for his arrest for operating under the influence and criminal speed. The one issue left for determination by the court was whether the questioning of the Defendant concerning his level of intoxication and driving that day constituted custodial interrogation.

In State vs. Griffin, 459 A.2d 1086, 1089, the Law Court held that it is within the reasonable scope of an investigatory stop for an officer to ask the suspect person to come out of his car and join him in the police cruiser to answer questions and that such police request and submission thereto are not to be equated to an arrest. In this case, the Defendant was briefly questioned at roadside outside of any vehicle after the conclusion of the field sobriety tests. Though the officer had probable cause to arrest the Defendant at that time, that information had not been communicated to the Defendant and no formal arrest had been made. The brief pre-arrest questioning did not convert the investigatory stop into a de facto arrest and the Defendant was not subjected to custodial interrogation. Therefore, the Defendant's Motion to Suppress is DENIED[1]


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