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can an attorney for a juvenile invoke his client's right to counsel during an interrogation (when the juvenile is not even aware that he has counsel)? in other words, must officers cease an interrogation based on counsel's arrival even if the juvenile has NEVER requested a lawyer and, in fact, doesn't even know that his family has hired him a lawyer?
Posts: 77 | Location: Montgomery County, Texas | Registered: July 06, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maybe this will get you started:

Truax v. State, No. 13-96-316-CR, 1998 WL 34201886 at *6 (Tex.App. -- Corpus Christi Sep 20, 1998, no pet.) (not designated for publication):

With regard to Truax's argument that his mother invoked his right to counsel for him, an accused's right against self-incrimination is personal to him and cannot be invoked or waived by anyone other than the accused. Moran v. Burbine, 475 U.S. 412, 106 S.Ct. 1135, 89 L.Ed.2d 410 (1986); Dunn v. State, 696 S.W.2d 561, 567 (Tex.Crim .App.1985). Accordingly, a family member's attempts to secure counsel for the accused do not amount to an invocation of the right to counsel by the accused himself or prevent further questioning by the police. See Moran; Dunn; Dorsey v. State, 14-96-1028-CR, 1998 WL 42591 * 4 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] February 5, 1998, no pet. h.); State v. Garibay, 838 S.W.2d 268, 271 (Tex.App.-El Paso 1992, no pet.). Moreover, merely because Truax, at seventeen years of age, was a minor in the eyes of the law did not exclude him from responsibility for his own actions under the penal code. See Tex. Penal Code Ann. � 8.07 (Vernon Supp.1998) (Age Affecting Criminal Responsibility). Likewise, we conclude that Truax's decision to cooperate with the authorities and waive his right to counsel was not subject to the control of his parents. We overrule Truax's fifth and sixth points of error.

See also Alexander v. State, 496 S.W.2d 86 (Tex. Crim. App. 1973).

II. Moran v. Burbine, 475 U.S. 412, 422-23, 106 S.Ct. 1135, 1141-42 (1986) Headnote #1 = Failure of police to inform murder suspect of telephone calls from attorney, who had been contacted by suspect's sister with regard to unrelated breaking and entering charge, before continuing their interrogation of suspect did not undermine validity of suspect's waiver of his Miranda rights where suspect was unaware that his sister had contacted attorney.

Events occurring outside of the presence of the suspect and entirely unknown to him surely can have no bearing on the capacity to comprehend and knowingly relinquish a constitutional right. Under the analysis of the Court of Appeals, the same defendant, armed with the same information and confronted with precisely the same police conduct, would have knowingly waived his Miranda rights had a lawyer not telephoned the police station to inquire about his status. Nothing in any of our waiver decisions or in our understanding of the essential components of a valid waiver requires so incongruous a result. No doubt the additional information would have been useful to respondent; perhaps even it might have affected his decision to confess. But we have never read the Constitution to require that the police supply a suspect with a flow of information to help him calibrate his self-interest in deciding whether to speak or stand by his rights. See, e.g., Oregon v. Elstad, 470 U.S. 298, 316-317, 105 S.Ct. 1285, 1296-1297, 84 L.Ed.2d 222 (1985); United States v. Washington, 431 U.S. 181, 188, 97 S.Ct. 1814, 1819, 52 L.Ed.2d 238 (1977). Cf. Hill v. Lockhart, 474 U.S. 52, 56, 106 S.Ct. 366, 88 L.Ed.2d 203 (1985); McMann v. Richardson, 397 U.S. 759, 769, 90 S.Ct. 1441, 1448, 25 L.Ed.2d 763 (1970). Once it is determined that a suspect's decision not to rely on his rights was uncoerced, that he at all times knew he could stand mute and request a lawyer, and that he was aware of the State's intention to use his statements to secure a conviction, the analysis *423 is complete and the waiver is valid as a matter of law. [FN1] The Court of Appeals' conclusion to the contrary was in error.

**1142 Nor do we believe that the level of the police's culpability in failing to inform respondent of the telephone call has any bearing on the validity of the waivers.
Posts: 527 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas, | Registered: May 23, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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