final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Okaloosa County. John T.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Jason W. Rodriguez, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Thomas, Public Defender, and Justin Karpf, Assistant Public
Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
State appeals an order suppressing a number of incriminating
statements made by Justin Lantz after invoking his right to
counsel. We reverse in part and remand because some of the
incriminating statements suppressed by the trial court were
offered voluntarily by Mr. Lantz and were not the product of
questions, or other actions by law enforcement that were
reasonably likely to elicit incriminating responses.
Lantz was charged with first degree murder of his mother and
he entered a plea of not guilty. After being arrested late
one night under a bridge, and in close proximity to his dead
mother's floating body, Mr. Lantz was brought to an
interrogation room at the police station. He was told of his
rights to remain silent and to counsel. And he asked for a
lawyer. At this, the officers told Mr. Lantz that they'd
like to talk to him again after he got a lawyer. They told
him that he would leave the room to go to the jail after a
crime scene technician arrived to process him for physical
evidence (he had scrapes and cuts on his body). But then,
they had to wait for the technician to arrive for about two
hours. In the meantime, officers got Mr. Lantz coffee and
they waited for the technician to arrive. During this period,
Mr. Lantz became chatty and made incriminating statements. He
has filed a motion to suppress the statements, arguing that
he made them within the context of an unlawful interrogation
after he had invoked his constitutional right to counsel.
suppression hearing, the trial court ordered some of his
statements suppressed and others not. The State appeals the
suppression order asserting that six portions of his
statements shouldn't be suppressed because Mr. Lantz
volunteered the information without law enforcement asking
questions of him or taking other actions reasonably likely to
elicit his incriminating responses.
ruling on a motion to suppress is reviewed by the appellate
court with a presumption of correctness. Martin-Godinez
v. State, 225 So.3d 926, 927 (Fla. 1st DCA 2017) (citing
Spivey v. State, 45 So.3d 51, 54 (Fla. 1st DCA
2010)). "This Court applies a mixed standard of review,
giving deference to the factual findings that are supported
by competent, substantial evidence, but reviewing the
determination of constitutional rights de novo."
Id. The ultimate question here, of whether the
action of officers constitutes "interrogation" for
Miranda purposes, is a legal question that we review
de novo. See Everett v. State, 893 So.2d 1278, 1284
(Fla. 2004); United States v. Yepa, 862 F.3d 1252,
1258 (10th Cir. 2017).
Florida and United States Constitutions protect those
arrested for committing crimes against being compelled to
become witnesses against themselves in their own criminal
cases. U.S. Const. amend. V; Art. I, § 9, Fla. Const.;
Ramirez v. State, 739 So.2d 568, 572-73 (Fla.1999).
Suspects arrested for crimes must be notified of their
"right to remain silent, that any statement [made] may
be used as evidence against [them], and [of the] right to the
presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed."
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444 (1966).
"Once warnings have been given, the subsequent procedure
is clear. . . . If the individual states that he wants an
attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is
present." Id. at 473-74. Continuing with an
interrogation after invocation of the right to counsel risks
suppression of whatever exculpatory or inculpatory statements
arise from the interrogation. Id. at 479
("[U]nless and until such warnings and waiver are
demonstrated by the prosecution at trial, no evidence
obtained as a result of interrogation can be used against
him."). But see, e.g., New York v. Quarles, 467
U.S. 649, 651 (1984) (recognizing limited exceptions to the
the right to counsel has been invoked, Miranda
requires counsel during interrogations. But it does "not
require counsel's presence for all further
communications; only for interrogations." Everett v.
State, 893 So.2d 1278, 1284 (Fla. 2004) (emphasis in
original); see also Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S.
477, 485-86 (1981) ("The Fifth Amendment right
identified in Miranda is the right to have counsel
present at any custodial interrogation. Absent such
interrogation, there would have been no infringement of the
right."). Thus, Miranda is implicated only when
a defendant in custody is subjected to questioning or
"its functional equivalent." Rhode Island v.
Innis, 446 U.S. 291, 301 (1980); see also Traylor v.
State, 596 So.2d 957, 966 (Fla. 1992) ("These
guidelines . . . do not apply to volunteered statements
initiated by the suspect or statements that are obtained in
noncustodial settings or through means other than
interrogation"). Interrogation "refers not only to
express questioning, but also to any words or actions on the
part of the police (other than those normally attendant to
arrest and custody) that the police should know are
reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from
the suspect." Innis, 446 U.S. at 301; see
also Traylor, 596 So.2d at 966, n.17
("Interrogation takes place for Section 9 purposes when
a person is subjected to express questions, or other words or
actions, by a state agent, that a reasonable person would
conclude are designed to lead to an incriminating