Utah Police Must Give Miranda Warning to Those in Custody

Your Right in Utah to be given a Miranda Warning

Every person in Utah has a constitutional right to keep silent.  People are not required to admit anything to police officers and may have an attorney present anytime police wish to question individuals.  If police wish to take people into custody and question them for crimes such as Homicide, they must first explain to people they have a right to remain silent; otherwise, admissions by individuals cannot be used against them.  This explanation by officers is called the Miranda warning.

Miranda rights were instituted through the prescribed warnings to neutralize an atmosphere viewed by the court as inherently hostile and intimidating.  While in custody the suspect is cut off from the outside world and is in an environment that is police dominated.  An individual swept from familiar surroundings into police custody, surrounded by antagonistic forces and subjected to the techniques of persuasion may believe he or she is required to speak.

When is a Person “In Custody?”

It is only in the context of custodial interrogation that the Miranda protections are triggered.  How is custody defined? Is a person stopped by officers in an airport terminal “in custody” when they ask him to identify himself and answer a few questions?

The ultimate inquiry is whether there is either a formal arrest or “restraint on freedom of movement of the degree associated with a formal arrest.” New York v. Quarles, 467 US 649 (1984). The venue in which the interrogation occurs is not determinative and one need not be in a police station to be “in custody.”

Where there is no formal arrest, the determinative question is whether a reasonable person (given the totality of circumstances) would have felt at liberty to terminate the interrogation and leave.  Only if the answer is no is it necessary to neutralize the pressures of the interrogation by way of the Miranda warnings.  Among the factors courts look to in applying the reasonable person tests are the location of the interrogation (familiar or unfamiliar to the suspect?), the duration, and the persons present (just law enforcement personnel?)

Miranda Rights Protected by Utah Criminal Defense Lawyers

Never talk to a law enforcement officer without a lawyer present even if you have nothing to hide from the police.  If you have been charged with any crime in Utah, such as sexual assault, because of an admission to a criminal act, and you weren’t properly given a Miranda warning when the occasion called for it, call the criminal defense attorneys of the Salcido Law Firm law firm.  The lawyers of Salcido Law Firm will make sure your right to keep silent was not violated.  Call them today at 801.618.1334 for a free consultation.

Related posts