The police stopped you for not doing much of anything. They took you into custody and because you were nervous, you couldn’t stop talking. If the original arrest was without probable cause, can your statements be used against you?

To answer that question, courts look at the connection between your statements and your arrest. If the connection is too close, an experienced criminal law attorney could petition the court to suppress anything you said after the arrest. However, your statements may still come into evidence if the court finds a separate basis from the illegal arrest for admitting them.

To use your statements, the state must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the challenged evidence was obtained by means sufficiently distinguishable to be purged of the primary taint of the illegal arrest. A court considers the following factors: (1) the nearness in time between the arrest and the statement; (2) the presence of intervening circumstances; (3) the provision of Miranda warnings; and (4) the flagrancy of the police misconduct. Intervening circumstances can mean either intervening probable cause or intervening events. Of these four factors, the presence of intervening circumstances and the flagrancy of police conduct are the most important. The court may consider other factors as appropriate.

In People v Hernandez, a defendant confessed after being confronted with a bogus gun residue test. The defendant’s arrest was considered illegal. The court weighed the following factors: 1) The six-hours between defendant’s arrest and confession were too close in time; 2) The bogus gun residue test was not an intervening circumstance; 3) Police read defendant his Miranda rights, but only once at the beginning; and 4) There was no evidence of how police behaved during the initial confrontation and arrest. Under these circumstances, the court held that the connection between defendant’s statements and his illegal arrest were too close and thus, the statements could not be used.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Even if the police acted properly and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

See our related post: Fruit of the Poison Tree: Statements from an Illegal Arrest.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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