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Home  >  Topics  >  Legal

July 31, 2012
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John Bowden On Language, Communication, and Leadership
with John Bowden

Court rulings on interviews by law enforcement

The court has ruled that being in a police car, a police station or even in an interrogation room does not constitute custody. Here are some important rulings to keep in mind when conducting subject interviews.

Miranda v. Arizona — A subject must be advised of their rights to remain silent and to an attorney when in custody and asked incriminating questions.

Beckworth v US — Custody is the test for Miranda not suspicion. Police must say or do something to demonstrate custody.

Stansberry v California — In a non-custodial interview, the undisclosed view the subject is a suspect is irrelevant to whether the person is in custody.

Oregon v. Mathiason — An interrogation held in a police station does not establish custody.

State of North Carolina v. Rooks. — An interrogation in a police car does not establish custody. Rooks was in the front seat, not cuffed, doors not locked and was told he was not in custody. This case also confirmed that the fact he was confessing did not establish custody if the circumstances did not change and he was not told he was in custody.

Edwards v. Arizona — If a suspect requests an attorney, all questioning must be stopped while the subject is still in custody. The subject may call and speak to the police without an attorney.

Roberson v. Arizona — An accused who has invoked the right to counsel may not be subject to police initiated questioning while in custody even if it concerns a different case.

Maryland v. Shatzer — A subject requests an attorney at Miranda, while in custody. After release from custody for 14 days, the officer may re-initiate an interview with the subject on the case.

Missouri v. Seibert — The two-step interrogation is inadmissible. IE: Interview the subject, read Miranda and continue the interview, using statements made after Miranda.

McNeil v. Wisconsin — A subject has obtained a 6th Amendment attorney in court. Police may not ask questions on the case with the 6th Amendment attorney. Police may read Miranda and ask questions on other cases. 6th Amendment attorney is case specific.

Brown v. Illinois — Evidence that is illegally obtained is excluded from court. IE: Evidence obtained via an inadmissible statement is itself inadmissible.

Berkemer v. McCarty — A traffic stop is a temporary detention and is not subject to Miranda. DUI roadside tests are admissible. Miranda is required after custodial arrest for a traffic offense.


About the author

John Bowden is the founder and director of Applied Police Training and Certification (APTAC). John retired from the Orlando Police Department as a Master Police Officer In 1994. His career spans a period of 21 years in law enforcement overlapping 25 years of law enforcement instruction. His total of more than 37 years of experience includes all aspects of law enforcement to include: uniform crime scene technician, patrol operations, investigations, undercover operations, planning and research for departmental development, academy coordinator, field training officer, and field training supervisor. As the director of APTAC, John is responsible for coordinating operations and conducting training for law enforcement organizations across the United States. APTAC clients include law enforcement agencies, state police academies, sheriff departments, correctional institutions, military law enforcement, as well as colleges and universities across the United States. John has written numerous books, including Report Writing for Law Enforcement & Corrections, Management Techniques for Criminal Justice, Today's Field Training Officer, and others. Contact John Bowden





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