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Leyba v. People.

2021 CO 54. No.19SC806. Criminal Law—Custodial Interrogation—Miranda—Fifth Amendment.

June 21, 2021


In this criminal case, defendant invoked his right to counsel during a custodial interrogation but immediately continued talking. Defendant subsequently signed a form waiving his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), and spoke with detectives for approximately two hours. Before trial, defendant moved to suppress statements made during the interrogation, arguing that they were obtained in violation of his Fifth Amendment right to counsel. The trial court denied the motion, and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

The Supreme Court considered whether defendant reinitiated communications with police after invoking his right to counsel, thereby revoking his request. The Court held that once a suspect invokes his or her right to counsel and police stop the interrogation, no minimum amount of time must pass before he or she may validly reinitiate discussion of the investigation. Applying that holding to this case, the Court concluded that although defendant initially invoked his right to counsel and police ceased the interrogation, he immediately reinitiated communications, thereby revoking his request for counsel.

Accordingly, the Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ judgment.

Official Colorado Supreme Court proceedings can be found at the Colorado Supreme Court website.

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