Miranda Warnings During a Police Interview

The Best criminal defense and the best criminal lawyers will tell you to NEVER speak to the police regarding any criminal investigation. Resist the urge to talk to the police as the prosecution will want to use statements regardless of Miranda warnings during a police interview. Always call a criminal defense lawyer immediately.

A good illustration of this principle is the recent Supreme Court case of Maryland v Shatzer, 559 US ___, 130 SCt 1213 (2010). This directly addresses the complex issue of Miranda and police interviews.

In the case the respondent was suspected of sexual abuse. In 2003, the police interviewed him while he was in prison on an unrelated offense. After being Mirandized, he signed a waiver but after the respondent learned the purpose of the interview he refused to speak without an attorney. In 2006, the investigation was reopened and he was interviewed again at the prison. He acknowledged his Miranda rights and signed a waiver. He was questioned for 30 minutes and after making admissions about the crime agreed to a polygraph test. Five days later, fresh Miranda warnings were given and a waiver was obtained the respondent the respondent failed the polygraph test and made inculpatory statements and asked for a lawyer.

His motion to supress the statements was denied and he was convicted.

The Supreme Count found that the case of Edwards v Arizona, 451 US 477 (1981) provided a second layer of protection over Miranda warnings by requiring the interrogation to stop when a request for counsel has been made and involuntariness in response to further questions is presumed. However, Edwards was found to be a judicially created rule and therefore shouldn't extend more than 14 days past the initial interrogation. A two week break from custody means the suspect is no longer isolated and is able to seek advice from an attorney, family member and friends.

The Edwards presumption of involuntariness ensures that police will not take advantage of the mounting coercive pressures of prolonged police custody by repeatedly attempting to question a suspect who previously requested counsel until the suspect is badgered into submission.

Where the suspect has been released from pretrial custody and returned to his normal prison life for 2 1/2 years before the next interrogation his change of mind in answering questions without counsel could not be presumed to have been coerced. Lawful imprisonment upon conviction of a crime does not create the coercive pressure identified in Miranda.

In this case since the respondent experienced a break lasting more than two weeks between the first and second attempts at questioning Edwards did not mandate suppression of the 2006 statements.

Always consult with a criminal lawyer before speaking to any police officer. This will provide the best criminal defense in any criminal action, felony or misdemeanor in New York, Westchester county or otherwise.