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A 19-year-old student, Sally, has been arrested by the police for possession of a small amount of marijuana while driving home from a college party. Assume that the police officer had probable cause to stop Sally for drunk driving. During the search of Sally’s pockets incident to her arrest, the police find an unregistered handgun, a bag of prescription drugs issued to a woman named “Judy O’Heary, aged 74,” and $5,000 in cash in her car.
When the police confronts her with these items, she says, “I need those pills because of my back pain. And, I have no idea where that gun came from.” The police officer then asks her why you need more than 350 tablets of painkillers, and she states, “You have no idea how bad my back hurts.”
Based on her statements about the pills, the police charge her with intent to sell and distribute prescription drugs. At trial, her attorney makes a motion to suppress the admission of the statements, arguing in relevant part that she made the statement without being given her Miranda rights. In response, the police argue that she made statements voluntarily and not under duress. Answer the following questions as the law enforcement agent.
How do you think that the judge will rule on this motion to suppress? Does it matter that she was already under arrest at the time of her statements?
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