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State v. Aldus
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MAINE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT				Reporter of Decisions
Decision:	1998 ME 2
Docket:	Wal-96-734
Submitted
on Briefs:	November 10, 1997
Decided:	January 2, 1998

Panel:  	WATHEN, C.J., and ROBERTS, CLIFFORD, RUDMAN, DANA, LIPEZ,  and
		SAUFLEY, JJ.

STATE OF MAINE v. SARAH M. ALDUS

RUDMAN, J.
 
	[¶1]	Sarah M. Aldus appeals from the judgment entered in the
Superior Court (Waldo County, Kravchuk, J.) affirming her conviction in the
District Court (Belfast, Staples, J.) of the offense of operating a motor vehicle
after suspension, 29-A M.R.S.A. § 2412 (1996) (repealed 1995), and
affirming two civil adjudications for the offenses of possession of marijuana,
22 M.R.S.A. § 2383 (1992), and possession of drug paraphernalia, 17-A
M.R.S.A. § 1111-A (1983).  We affirm the judgments.
	[¶2]  Contrary to Aldus's assertions, the officer who stopped Aldus's
vehicle had a reasonable and articulable justification in so doing and the
subsequent search of her vehicle by the police officers was a lawful search
following her lawful custodial arrest for driving while under suspension.  See,
e.g., Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 21 (1968); State v. Cyr, 501 A.2d 1303, 1305
(Me. 1985).
	[¶3]	Aldus also contends that the statements she made to the
arresting officers should have been suppressed as they were made in the
context of a custodial interrogation prior to her being apprised of her Fifth
Amendment rights against self-incrimination as required by Miranda v.
Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).  Whether Miranda is applicable and requires
the suppression of statements is a matter of federal constitutional law.  State
v. Gardner, 509 A.2d 1160, 1163 (Me. 1986).  
	[¶4]  As the Supreme Court explained in Miranda,  a person in custody
and subject to interrogation must be advised of her rights against self-
incrimination in order for her statements to be admissible against her in a
criminal case.  State v. Jalbert, 537 A.2d 593, 594 (Me. 1988).  The trial
court determined that Aldus committed the civil offense of possession of
drug paraphernalia for which a forfeiture of not more than $200 may be
adjudged.  17-A M.R.S.A. § 1111-A; see also 17-A M.R.S.A. 4-B(3) (Supp.
1997) ("[a] law or ordinance which prohibits defined conduct, but does not
provide an imprisonment penalty, is a civil violation . . . ").  The statements,
the admission of which is challenged, were admitted in the course of a
consolidated proceeding.  As to the criminal charge (operating after
suspension), the admission of the statements was harmless.  As to the civil
infraction (possession of drug paraphernalia), the admission of the
statements made by Aldus while in custody did not violate her Fifth
Amendment rights.
	The entry is:
			Judgments affirmed.


Attorneys for State: Geoffrey Rushlau, District Attorney Leane Zainea, Asst. Dist. Atty. 137 Church Street Belfast, ME 04915 Attorney for defendant: Paul J. Morrow, Esq. Carl D. McCue, Esq. P O Box 655 Hampden, ME 0444-0655