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Officers on the job before 1966 knew that the right to remain silent was guaranteed by the Constitution, but no officer from that era ever thought it was his job to remind offenders of their rights. That changed with the arrest of Ernesto Miranda in March 1963 and the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that followed.
Once a custodial suspect has been given Miranda warnings and has acknowledged his understanding, he might waive his rights and submit to questioning, or he might invoke—either by indicating that he doesn't want to talk, or by requesting counsel.
It sometimes happens that a suspect's lawyer offers to surrender him for arrest and agrees to let his or her client be questioned, provided the lawyer is present during the interrogation.
In November, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 54th decision on a Miranda issue, in a case called Bobby v. Dixon. This is the third decision on the issue of the admissibility of a suspect's statements obtained after a belated warning and waiver.
In J.D.B. v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court didn't really clarify the issue of Mirandizing juveniles. Until further issues are litigated, officers should consult policy advisers to obtain guidelines for Mirandizing and interrogating juvenile suspects.
"Interrogation" has been defined by the Supreme Court to include both direct questioning and its "functional equivalent." What does this term mean? Three Supreme Court cases and numerous decisions from the federal appeals court have considered this question.
Miranda warnings are triggered by a simple formula: Custody + Interrogation = The requirement for Miranda warnings. A motorist is not in "custody" for Miranda purposes when he or she is detained for an ordinary traffic stop.