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Name: People v. Pilster
Case #: G035130
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 04/27/2006

During appellant’s trial for assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecutor used appellant’s prearrest statements to an investigating officer (given without benefit of Miranda warnings) to impeach his testimony concerning the offense. The trial court denied appellant’s request to instruct the jury pursuant to CALJIC 2.13.1 that they could consider his prearrest statements only on the issue of his credibility. The appellate court agreed, but found the error harmless. Appellant’s right to a limiting instruction concerning statements made in violation of Miranda depends on whether Miranda warnings were required. Here, appellant was not formally arrested, but he was in handcuffs during questioning. A reasonable person would conclude that appellant was in custody and facing a custodial interrogation. He was entitled to Miranda warnings prior to interrogation. Therefore, the jury could consider his statements only for impeachment purposes, and appellant was entitled to an instruction pursuant to CALJIC 2.13.1. However, the verdict demonstrates that the jury disbelieved appellant’s testimony. The evidence pointed conclusively to appellant as the assailant, and the failure to give the requested instruction did not result in prejudicial error.