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Non-Custodial Stationhouse Interrogations

Non-Custodial Stationhouse Interrogations

Because warnings are only required prior to custodial interrogation, one way to minimize the adverse impact of Miranda on investigations is to try to conduct interrogations whenever possible in non-custodial settings.

January 1, 2009

Entrapment

Entrapment

"The first duties of the officers of the law are to prevent, not to punish crime. It is not their duty to incite to and create crime for the sole purpose of prosecuting and punishing it." — U.S. Supreme Court, Sorrells v. U.S.

October 1, 2008

No Explanation Required

In your search warrant affidavits, your reports, and your testimony you have to lay out the basis of your suspicions and justify every detention, arrest, search, seizure, entry, and use of force.

September 1, 2008

Pinpointing the Right to Counsel

Ever since the 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Massiah v. U.S., it has been the rule that any statements about a crime that were deliberately elicited from the suspect by a government official or undercover agent, after the Sixth Amendment right to counsel had “attached” and been asserted, could not be used at trial to prove guilt.

August 1, 2008

The Bruton Rule

In many cases, two or more crooks commit crimes together. When you catch them, you'll generally do your best to get admissible confessions from them. Arresting multiple suspects can actually give you better chances to obtain statements.

March 1, 2008

Residential Entry After Outdoors Arrest

There are four ways to make a lawful entry into a private home. Notice that "entry incident to outdoors arrest" is not on the list of lawful ways to get inside a residence. In three separate cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has held such entries to be unconstitutional.

February 1, 2008

Setting Up Talks

Setting Up Talks

One of the most troublesome legal issues in law enforcement is the question of when an officer may resume discussions with a suspect after some kind of Miranda "history" has occurred. The answer is, "It all depends."

November 1, 2007

Seizing and Searching Passengers

In the 2007 decision in Brendlin v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court added yet another to a series of Fourth Amendment opinions on the subject of vehicle searches and seizures involving passengers, rather than drivers.

September 1, 2007

Cold Case Interrogations

In many instances, the suspect in a cold case turns out to be someone who is serving time for another crime. What are the considerations for conducting custodial interrogation of such a prisoner, insofar as Miranda and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel are concerned?

March 1, 2007

The Lawful Use of Deception

It might be nice if law enforcement officers never had to lie to a criminal suspect in order to solve a crime. In fact, some police advisors do suggest to officers that they should never mislead a suspect. Unfortunately, the reality is otherwise.

January 1, 2007

Preserving and Disclosing Evidence

Most law enforcement officers are familiar with the term “Brady error.” But what exactly does the Brady rule cover, and what obligation does it impose on police? Under the Brady line of cases, when must officers preserve evidence, and what must be revealed to the prosecutor? These questions have been answered in a series of opinions from the U.S. Supreme Court.

December 1, 2006

Miranda Wording

When custodial interrogation is imminent and it's time to give the suspect a Miranda warning, what exactly do you have to say? The answer is, nothing exactly. The U.S. Supreme Court, which created the necessity of a warning of rights and a waiver as prerequisites to the prosecutorial use of a statement obtained through custodial interrogation, has never held that any precise wording is required.

October 1, 2006

Third Party Consent Searches

One of the "firmly established exceptions" to the warrant requirement for searches and seizures is the "consent exception."

May 1, 2006

Right to Counsel

Law enforcement officers are quite familiar with the court-created "right" to counsel established by the Miranda opinion, to protect the Fifth Amendment trial privilege against compelled self-incrimination. But it applies only during police custodial interrogation.

February 1, 2006

Searching Third-Party Residences

Most officers are aware of the general rule on entering a suspect's home to arrest him or to search for evidence. These actions must be supported by either valid consent or a recognized exigency.

August 1, 2005

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