The police are under no obligation to provide the Miranda warning until a suspect is “in custody”. Because a formal arrest will always trigger the requirement that a suspect be Mirandized, some officers intentionally delay arrests. This provides the officer with a longer period to interrogate a suspect without advising the individual of his or her rights to have a criminal defense lawyer present during questioning. However, an individual is entitled to this advisement of rights if the suspect is no longer free to leave, at which point the questioning is considered to be a custodial interrogation.
Even if a suspect exercises his rights under Miranda, there are situations where statements subsequently obtained can be used by the prosecutor. If an arrestee makes a spontaneous statement without any attempt from the police to elicit a response, use of this of this incriminating statement typically will not constitute a violation of Miranda. Obviously, the question of whether the police did or said something surreptitiously intended to induce an arrestee to disregard his or her prior decision to exercise his or her rights under Miranda requires careful analysis of the facts.
The bottom line is that you should never speak to the police or any other representative of a law enforcement agency whether you have been arrested or you are merely are being investigated. While you are required to provide identification when you are stopped by police, you should not provide any other information without an attorney present. If the police try to question you, you can simply indicate that you are not comfortable answering any questions without an attorney present.
Tampa criminal defense lawyer Marc A. Joseph is a vigorous advocate for his clients and tenaciously protects their constitutional rights. For a free consultation, we invite you to call us at (813) 234-6374, so we can start fighting for your future.