If you were arrested by citation, does the officer still have to read you your Miranda Rights?

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If you were arrested by citation, does the officer still have to read you your Miranda Rights?

I was recently arrested under citation for a felony possession of marijuana over one ounce. I was not allowed to leave my friend’s front yard, which is where I was given the citation, for about 4 hours. The officer was asking me questions about where I had gotten it from, and things of that nature. Later, he had told me I was under arrest, but because I was a minor, I could have an adult pick me up and take me home. He never read me my Miranda Rights. I have court next month and although this is my first offense, I’m very nervous, and want to know anything that can help me out.

Asked on June 23, 2012 under Criminal Law, Nevada

Answers:

Russ Pietryga / Pietryga Law Office

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

 

            A suspect, you in this instance, are only accorded the Miranda protections during a custodial interrogation.  Both elements (i.e., custody & interrogation) must be present before the requirement that the warnings be given.

U.S. v. Erving L. 147 F.3d 1240 (10th Cir. 1998)

State v. Gallegos, 220 P.3d 136 (Utah 2009)

 

            Custody occurs when an individual’s freedom of action is curtailed to a degree associated with a formal arrest.  The inquiry is objective, and a suspect may understand himself to be in custody based either on physical evidence or on the nature of the peace officer’s instructions and questions.  The Utah Supreme Court, like most courts, set out a four-factor test to determine whether a defendant is in custody for the purpose of Miranda protections:  (1) the site of the interrogation; (2) whether the investigation focused on the accused; (3) Whether the objective indicia of arrest were present; and (4) the length and form of interrogation.

             After the custody determination is made, Utah Courts, like most courts, must next decide, whether the incriminating statement was the product of interrogation.  Interrogation is either express questioning or its functional equivalent and it incorporates any words or actions on the part of peace officers that they should have known were reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.

     From what you have indicated, it sounds as if the officer had already found the marijuana and determined it was yours before he started asking you questions.  That said, suppressing your statements after you where in custody will not get rid of the charges.

    I would suggest that you retain an attorney.  Because it is your first offense, an attorney may be able to kept this off your record.  Additionally, a conviction for possession will usually result in a driver license suspension.

 

Hope this helps.

    

    



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