New Mexico v. Antonio T.Annotate this Case
Antonio T., a seventeen-year-old high school student, was taken to the principal's office because he was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. The assistant principal questioned Antonio about his possession of alcohol in the presence of a deputy sheriff. Antonio admitted that he had brought alcohol to school, where he drank it. At the principal's request, the deputy administered a breath alcohol test to Antonio, which was positive for alcohol. After administering the test, the deputy advised Antonio of his right to remain silent, and Antonio declined to answer the questions. Antonio was charged with the delinquent act of possession of alcohol by a minor. He filed a motion to suppress the statements he made to the assistant principal because his statements were elicited without a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his right to remain silent. The district court denied his motion, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court reversed both the district court and the Court of Appeals: although a school official may insist that a child answer questions for purposes of school disciplinary proceedings, any statements elicited by the official may not be used against the child in a delinquency proceeding unless the child made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his or her right to remain silent. Because the State failed to prove that Antonio effectively waived this right, his statements were inadmissible in the delinquency proceeding.