Monday, September 10, 2007

New WA Supreme Court Opinions

The Washington State Supreme Court issued two opinions last week regarding right to counsel and search and seizure issues.

In State v. Everybodytalksabout, the Court held that the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel was violated when a corrections officer spoke to him in jail without his attorney present, and without contacting the attorney prior to the interview, for the purposes of preparing a presentence investigation report. The Court ruled that incriminating statements made during that interview should have been suppressed.

In State v. Hatchie, the Court held that a misdemeanor arrest warrant gives police limited authority to enter a home to arrest a person within the home, just as would a felony arrest warrant. The Court reasoned that both types of warrants require the same standard for issuance, and therefore the authority provided by each was indistinguishable. Further, the court found that the police must only have probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested is a resident of the home to enter the home in order to effectuate the arrest warrant. If the police do not have such probable cause, a search warrant is required for entry. The Court further cautioned that the arrest warrant provides police with authority only to enter, arrest a person, and leave, not to search the home

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