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Criminal Practice – Miranda & Juvenile Rights – Spanish/English Speaker

Where there is evidence that (1) Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Detective Aimee Kelly advised the 16-year-old defendant of his juvenile rights in spoken English, written Spanish, and written English; (2) defendant initialed each of the rights enumerated on the juvenile rights waiver form that Detective Kelly reviewed with him and signed the juvenile rights waiver form in such a manner as to indicate that he had decided to waive his juvenile rights and to speak with Detective Kelly without the presence of a parent, guardian, custodian, or attorney; (3) defendant answered affirmatively when questioned about the extent to which he understood his rights; and (4) defendant “understood what [Detective Kelly] was saying,” the record supports the trial court’s determination that defendant understood his juvenile rights and that he knowingly, willingly, and understandingly waived those rights.

We reverse the Court of Appeals’ reversal of the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress.


(Beasley, J.) When defendant asked, “Um, can I call my mom?”, this was an unambiguous invocation of his right to have a parent present during interrogation. Law enforcement should have immediately ceased questioning and not resumed until defendant’s mother was present or he reinitiated the conversation.

State v. Saldierna (Lawyers Weekly No. 010-074-18, 30 pp.) (Sam Ervin, J.) (Cheri Beasley, J., dissenting) Appealed from Mecklenburg County Superior Court (Forrest Donald Bridges & Jesse Caldwell, JJ.) On discretionary review from the Court of Appeals. Kimberly Callahan for the state; W. Rob Heroy for defendant. N.C. S. Ct.


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