Monday, July 11, 2016


We recently posted about Miranda and the true implications of such a fundamental and historic ruling that came down in 1966.  As we stated police must warn people in custody prior to interrogation that they have a Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and that anything they say can be used against them in a court of law.  People in custody also must be warned they have a Sixth Amendment right to consult with counsel prior to and during in custody interrogations, and that counsel will be appointed for them if they cannot afford one.  So what does it mean when someone is "in custody"?  The question is routinely asked of me "when do my Miranda rights apply"? The term "in custody" basically means when someone is not free to leave.  This term includes both police station interrogations and any other situation depriving a suspect of their freedom of action in a paramount way.  As I mentioned in an earlier post there are many holes the State has been able to drive through in asserting that Miranda does not apply.  For instance where the defendant made incriminating statements on his tax returns instead of claiming the Fifth Amendment privilege, because nothing suggested he did so by law enforcement's overbearing tactics. It was said  he instead could complete the return at leisure and with legal assistance.  Another instance is when a probation officer interviews a person on probation, the probationer was not then formally arrested, even though the investigation had focused on a suspect.  Lastly in instances where a citizen is questioned by an IRS agent investigating potential criminal tax violations because there is no custodial interrogation occurring.  In the coming weeks we will focus on other instances where this historic ruling has benefited our lives and also left short many questions unanswered.

No comments:

Post a Comment