This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. ' 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Jamison Blake Malik,
Filed June 18, 1996
Douglas County District Court
File No. K195516
Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Appellant)
Ann L. Carrott, Douglas County Attorney, Allen L. Senstad, Assistant County Attorney, 308 Eighth Avenue West, Alexandria, MN 56308 (for Appellant)
John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Leslie J. Rosenberg, Special Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue S.E., Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for Respondent)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Short, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Jamison Malik was charged with speeding, driving after revocation of his license, and two fifth-degree controlled substance offenses. The state appeals from a pretrial order suppressing Malik's statements that he made after being placed in the squad car and before the issuance of a Miranda warning. We reverse.
D E C I S I O N
We will reverse a trial court's determination on a pretrial matter in a criminal prosecution only if the state demonstrates clearly and unequivocally that (1) the trial court erred in its judgment, and (2) the error will have a critical impact on the outcome of the trial absent reversal. State v. Joon Kyu Kim, 398 N.W.2d 544, 547 (Minn. 1987).
The state argues the trial court clearly erred in concluding Malik was in custody when he made statements to a state trooper. See State v. Rosse, 478 N.W.2d 482, 484 (Minn. 1991) (requiring a Miranda warning before a custodial interrogation); see also State v. Champion, 533 N.W.2d 40, 43 (Minn. 1995) (determining custody status based on whether a reasonable person in the suspect's position would have believed he or she was free to leave). A person generally is not in custody when detained following a routine traffic stop. State v. Herem, 384 N.W.2d 880, 883 (Minn. 1986). The fact that questioning takes place in a patrol car does not convert an ordinary traffic stop into a custodial interrogation. Id. Nor does the trooper's belief that Malik committed an offense necessitate a Miranda warning. See Minnesota v. Murphy, 465 U.S. 420, 431, 104 S. Ct. 1136, 1144 (1984) (noting that custody does not exist simply because the police have focussed their investigation on a suspect).
The record demonstrates the state trooper: (1) stopped Malik for speeding; (2) told Malik to sit in the rear seat of the squad car after discovering his driver's license was revoked; (3) asked Malik if there were any alcohol, drugs, or weapons in the car; (4) upon learning from Malik that there was "quite a bit" of marijuana in the car, conducted an inventory search of the car; (5) found a marijuana roach in the front seat, plus two bags of marijuana and a weighing scale in the back seat; and (6) told Malik he was facing felony charges and was free to go if he agreed to work with narcotics investigators. The state concedes that the interrogation after discovery of the marijuana was custodial and that the trial court properly suppressed statements made by Malik after that time. See Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 468, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 1624 (1966) (describing the implied damning effect of silence in the face of accusation as an inherent pressure of interrogation).
Given these facts, Malik was subject to only a routine traffic stop when he admitted there was marijuana in the car. The state trooper did not initially restrain Malik to the degree associated with formal arrest. See Rosse, 478 N.W.2d at 486 (stating this is the real issue in deciding whether custody existed for the purposes of Miranda warnings). Under these circumstances, the trial court clearly erred in suppressing Malik's statements made before the marijuana was discovered.
Even if the trial court erred in suppressing his initial statements, Malik argues the state has not shown the suppression order will have a critical impact on the outcome of the prosecution. However, the evidence shows: (1) no part of the complaint will be dismissed for lack of probable cause; (2) marijuana was discovered in an unmarked duffel bag in a car driven, but not owned, by Malik; and (3) evidence of this marijuana was not suppressed. Under these circumstances, suppression of Malik's statements concerning the locatio