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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

Open Wide and Say, "Ahhh"

Open Wide and Say, "Ahhh"

Under what circumstances would the Fourth Amendment allow routine collection of DNA samples upon arrest and booking? A recent Supreme Court decision addressed this issue.

August 5, 2013

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

Suggestive Eyewitness ID

Suggestive Eyewitness ID

Identifying the perpetrator and clearing innocent suspects are crucial goals of every criminal investigation, and both depend on the use of reliable evidence. The Supreme Court has applied a constitutional due process test to the admissibility of testimony about an eyewitness's pretrial ID.

May 9, 2012

New Restrictions on GPS Tracking

New Restrictions on GPS Tracking

Police use of technology to catch criminals makes the U.S. Supreme Court nervous, as was evident in the recent Jones decision. In the absence of a recognized basis for a warrantless search, Jones does mean that a warrant must be obtained for installation andmonitoring of a GPS tracker on a suspect's vehicle.

March 5, 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

Exigent Entry

Exigent Entry

Warrantless entries are limited to those authorized by consent, probation or parole search conditions, or "exigent circumstances" involving some sort of emergency requiring immediate action. One category of exigency that may justify warrantless entry is the need to prevent the imminent destruction of evidence.

July 7, 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

The "Emergency Aid Doctrine"

The "Emergency Aid Doctrine"

Officers can enter when it reasonably appears someone inside may need emergency aid, regardless of the officers' actual, subjective motivations for going inside.

February 5, 2010

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

Official Misinformation

Official Misinformation

What the exclusionary rule has actually meant in practice is that thousands (maybe millions) of criminals have been able to stop the prosecution from using critical evidence of their guilt to hold them accountable for their crimes.

March 1, 2009

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