Pennsylvania v. Muniz

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Pennsylvania v. Muniz
Court Documents
Concurring Opinion

United States Supreme Court

496 U.S. 582

Pennsylvania  v.  Muniz

No. 89-213  Argued: Feb. 27, 1990. --- Decided: June 18, 1990


Respondent Muniz was arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol on a Pennsylvania highway. Without being advised of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, he was taken to a booking center where, as was the routine practice, he was told that his actions and voice would be videotaped. He then answered seven questions regarding his name, address, height, weight, eye color, date of birth, and current age, stumbling over two responses. He was also asked, and was unable to give, the date of his sixth birthday. In addition, he made several incriminating statements while he performed physical sobriety tests and when he was asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. He refused to take the breathalyzer test and was advised, for the first time, of his Miranda rights. Both the video and audio portions of the tape were admitted at trial, and he was convicted. His motion for a new trial on the ground that the court should have excluded, inter alia, the videotape was denied. The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed. While finding that the videotape of the sobriety testing exhibited physical rather than testimonial evidence within the meaning of the Fifth Amendment, the court concluded that Muniz's answers to questions and his other verbalizations were testimonial and, thus, the audio portion of the tape should have been suppressed in its entirety.

Held: The judgment is vacated and remanded.

377 Pa.Super. 382, 547 A.2d 419 (1988), vacated and remanded.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).