Oral argument: Dec. 7, 2009
Appealed from: Supreme Court of Florida (Sept. 29, 2008)
FIFTH AMENDMENT, RIGHT TO COUNSEL, MIRANDA WARNINGS, SELF-INCRIMINATION
Kevin Powell was arrested on suspicion of illegally owning a firearm and, after allegedly waiving his rights to counsel as required by Miranda v. Arizona, confessed during questioning. Powell was convicted on the basis of that confession. On appeal, Powell's conviction was overturned on the ground that the warnings read to Powell failed to adequately inform him of his right to have an attorney present during questioning. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a suspect must be expressly advised of his or her right to have an attorney present while he or she is being questioned. The Supreme Court's decision will clarify Miranda’s requirements regarding advising a suspect of his or her right to counsel during questioning. This case will resolve a circuit split on the issue and affect law enforcement practices during interrogations.