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Name: People v. Tom
Case #: S202107
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 08/14/2014

A suspect who has not been subjected to custodial interrogation must clearly and timely invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to bar use of his postarrest, pre-Miranda silence in the prosecution's case-in-chief. Tom was speeding down a street and broadsided another car that was making a left turn in front of him. One person in the other car was killed and two others were severely injured. He was arrested after several officers smelled alcohol on his breath. At trial in its case-in-chief, the prosecution relied on evidence that Tom failed to inquire about the welfare of the occupants of…

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Name: People v. Tom
Case #: A124764
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 03/19/2012
Subsequent History: Review gr. 6/20/12: S202107

The Fifth Amendment right to remain silent attaches at the time of arrest, or coercive circumstances which constitute a de facto arrest, and the prosecution violates that right by presenting evidence of the defendant's silence in their case in chief. The defendant's vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it broadsided another vehicle. He was convicted of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence based on the death of a child in the broadsided vehicle. He was held in coercive circumstances that were tantamount to an arrest: he wanted to leave but was told that he could not because…

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Name: People v. Thoma
Case #: B170355
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 04/19/2005
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 7/27/05: S134243

Appellant pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, and was sentenced as a "two-striker" because of a 1995 prior conviction for driving under the influence causing bodily injury. On appeal, he argued that the prior conviction was not a "strike" because the record of the prior conviction does not show that appellant inflicted great bodily injury on the victim. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. At appellant's sentencing hearing on the prior conviction, he remained silent as the court described the victim's massive injuries, including numerous broken bones. A reasonable person in that situation would have disputed…

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Name: People v. Thoma
Case #: B170355
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 01/26/2005

A defendant’s silence in the face of a court’s description at sentencing of a victim’s injuries was admissible in a later prosecution as an adoptive admission. The defendant pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine, and then waived jury trial on a prior conviction allegation under the three strikes law. The court found the allegation that the defendant had previously been convicted of personally inflicting great bodily injury to be true, based in part on statements made by the judge at the sentencing hearing in the prior case to the effect that the victim had suffered massive injuries…

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