Are Statements Made To Police Prior To Miranda Warnings Admissible?

We're Proud to Serve the Members of NJEA, UFCW Local 1262, and the NJ Policemen's Benevolent Association.

Contact Our Office

We Accept the Following Payment Options

Are Statements Made To Police Prior To Miranda Warnings Admissible?

Can statements made to police prior to “Miranda” warnings (“You have the right to remain silent…”) be used as evidence against you?

In Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 458, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 1619, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 714 (1964), the Supreme Court recognized that “[u]nless adequate protective devices are employed to dispel the compulsion inherent in custodial surroundings, no statement obtained from the defendant can truly be the product of his free choice.” Accordingly, the Miranda Court determined that the fifth and fourteenth amendments’ prohibition against compelled self-incrimination require that custodial interrogation be preceded “by advice to the putative defendant that he has the right to remain silent and also the right to the presence of any attorney.” Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477, 482, 101 S.Ct. 1880, 1883, 68 L.Ed.2d 378, 384 (1981).

In State v. Graves, 114 N.J.Super. 222, 226 (App.Div.1971), the New Jersey Appellate Division held, “when the interrogation process shifts from investigatory to accusatory-when its focus is on the accused and its purpose is to elicit a confession-our adversary system begins to operate and the accused is entitled to the presence of counsel as well as to be given the other Miranda warnings.” The United States Supreme Court held in Orozco v. Texas, 394 U.S. 324, 89 S.Ct. 1095, 22 L.Ed.2d 311 (1969), that the concept of Miranda warnings is not restricted to questioning that takes place in a police station. So when should they be triggered as necessary?

A “custodial interrogation is not susceptible of an exact definition…the determination…must be made on a case-by-case basis.” U.S. v. Leese, 176 F.3d 740, 743 (3d Cir.1999)(citing Steigler v. Anderson, 496 F.2d 793, 798 (3d Cir.1974), and U.S. v. Clark, 425 F.2d 827, (3d. Cir.1970)). “[T]he ultimate inquiry is: ‘whether there is a “formal arrest or restraint on freedom of movement” of the degree associated with a formal arrest.'” Id. (quoting California v. Beheler, 463 U.S. 1121, 1125, 103 S.Ct. 3517, 77 L.Ed.2d 1275 (1993))(quoting Oregon v. Mathiason, 429 U.S. 492, 495, 97 S.Ct. 711, 50 L.Ed.2d 714 (1977)). “Where…the individual has not been openly arrested when the statements are made, ‘something must be said or done by the authorities, wither in their manner of approach or in the tone or extent of their questioning, which indicates they would not have heeded a request to depart or to allow the suspect to do so.'” Leese, 176 F.3d at 743 (quoting Steigler at 799)(quoting U.S. v. Hall, 421 F.2d 540, 545 (2d Cir.1969)).

It is arguable then, under case law, that if you do not feel free to leave the presence of a police officer, then you are being interrogated, regardless of the locale. If illicit activity is suspected and the topic of conversation, then it is appropriate and necessary to be read your rights.

What Matters Most

  • You gave me strength, support, comfort, and beyond powerful legal assistance, you gave extra kindness and generosity beyond expectation, as if you were my brother, beyond normal, in the realm of righteous.

Ready to Represent You

Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington of West Long Branch, New Jersey, provides representation throughout Monmouth County including Asbury Park, Belmar, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Lake Como, Long Branch, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Middletown, Neptune, Oakhurst, Ocean Township, Redbank, Shrewsbury, Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, West Long Branch, and Freehold Township; Ocean County including Bayville, Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Lakewood Township, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, and Toms River; Middlesex County including East Brunswick, Milltown, New Brunswick, Old Bridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, and Spotswood.

monmouth county lawyer map

Contact Our Office

Not sure where to begin? We welcome all inquiries and will help in whatever way we can.