Colorado v. Haack

The State appealed a district court order partially granting defendant-appellee Keith Haack’s motion and suppressing evidence acquired after officers made a warrantless entry into his residence. The district court found that the officers, who were investigating defendant for driving under the influence, had unlawfully followed the defendant into his home and, as a result, all relevant evidence they acquired either inside the home or after the defendant and officers went back outside should have been suppressed. The court expressly found that defendant was not in custody for purposes of Miranda warnings until he was ultimately arrested outside the home and that the results of the defendant’s field sobriety tests, including a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and subsequent blood test, both of which were conducted after leaving the residence, would have been admissible but for the earlier constitutional violation. The court did not, however, offer any rationale for suppression of these test results beyond the fact that they followed in time the unlawful entry. In reversing the district court's order, the Colorado Supreme Court determined the district court failed to address the question of whether the evidence suppressed was independent of an earlier unlawful entry; the portion of the district court order suppressing this evidence was not adequately supported by its findings and is therefore vacated. The case was remanded with directions to determine whether the evidence acquired after leaving the defendant’s home was in fact derivative of the unlawful entry at all and if so whether the subsequent searches in which that evidence was discovered were genuinely independent sources of that evidence. View "Colorado v. Haack" on Justia Law