Huntley Hearing Law & Legal Definition


Huntley Hearing is a pretrial hearing in New York State and is requested for the purpose of reviewing the manner in which the police obtained statements from the defendant. People v. Huntley, 15 N.Y.2d 72 (N.Y. 1965) is New York State's application of a United States Supreme Court case Jackson v. Denno (378 US 368).

Huntley provides that a defendant may challenge the voluntary and lawful nature of any statement made to police if the prosecution intends to use the statement at trial. If the prosecution intends to use a defendant's statement, the prosecution must inform the defense of its intention. The defendant has the right to a Huntley hearing in front of the judge to determine whether the statement can be used at the trial. The court will consider factors like whether the defendant was in custody, if in custody, whether the defendant waived his/her Miranda rights, and whether the defendant gave the statement of his own free will. Huntley requires that the judge must find voluntariness beyond a reasonable doubt before the confession can be submitted to the trial jury.