In a recent Illinois appellate case, a mother challenged a conviction for child endangerment. The case arose when a Chicago cop was patrolling at 1:00 a.m. and was flagged down by someone reporting a child was left alone inside a car. There was a six-month-old baby in the baby seat in the back of the car, and he’d been crying. The rear window was open, and the car wasn’t running. The fire department was contacted, and the baby was removed from the car.
The officer ran the plates and found the car was registered to the defendant, who lived about two blocks away. When the officer went to the address where the car was registered, he found the defendant sitting on the curb with a man. The cop smelled alcohol on the mom’s breath. He asked her if she knew where her child was, and the mom responded she’d gone to a party that night and drank alcohol, but she didn’t know why her car was parked on the other street. She’d forgotten her baby was inside.
She was put in custody. At trial, the officer testified that he’d asked her if she had the name of the primary suspect. He knew the car was registered to her, and a baby was in the car, so she was never free to go. The mom’s attorney asked for leave to file a motion to suppress the mother’s statements to the police because she never received Miranda warnings. The police reports included a summary of her statements to the police, given without Miranda warnings.