People v. Tom

Defendant broadsided at high speed a vehicle driving by Loraine Wong. Wong’s younger daughter, Sydney, was killed, and her older daughter, Kendall, sustained serious injuries. A jury convicted Defendant of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and found true the allegation that he personally inflicted great bodily injury on Kendall. At issue on appeal was whether the trial court violated Defendant’s Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination by admitting evidence that Defendant, following his arrest but before receipt of Miranda warnings, failed to inquire about the other people involved in the collision. The court of appeal reversed, holding that the trial court violated the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-crimination by admitting evidence of Defendant’s post-arrest, pre-Miranda failure to inquire about the welfare of the occupants of the other vehicle. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Defendant needed to make a timely and unambiguous assertion of his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in order to benefit from it. Remanded. View "People v. Tom" on Justia Law