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Admonitions and Waivers

Admonitions and Waivers

Most of your communications with criminal suspects are "unscripted" dialogue. But in certain situations it can be very important that you say the right words, at the right time, to avoid creating problems for yourself, your agency, and your prosecutor.

May 4, 2015

Reduce Negative Impact of Miranda

Reduce Negative Impact of Miranda

Has Miranda v. Arizona adversely affected criminal justice and public safety? Miranda has resulted in the inability to clear a quarter-million homicides, 1 million rapes, 5 million robberies, and 9 million aggravated assaults.

March 11, 2014

Suspect-Initiated Interrogation

Suspect-Initiated Interrogation

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.

January 9, 2013

Lawyers and Miranda Warnings: Either/Or?

Lawyers and Miranda Warnings: Either/Or?

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.

September 7, 2012

Drawing Lines Around Miranda

Drawing Lines Around Miranda

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.

February 13, 2012

Juveniles and Miranda "Custody"

Juveniles and Miranda "Custody"

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.

August 1, 2011

'Functional Equivalent' of Miranda Questions

'Functional Equivalent' of Miranda Questions

"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.

May 11, 2011

Premature Miranda Warnings

Premature Miranda Warnings

Give Miranda warnings just before commencement of apparent custodial police interrogation-not sooner. Leave Hollywood tactics to the actors.

December 14, 2009

Sixth Amendment Waivers

Sixth Amendment Waivers

It will now be possible for law enforcement officers to attempt to obtain a waiver and an admissible statement from a defendant without running afoul of the Sixth Amendment.

August 7, 2009

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

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

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

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

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