• Miranda warnings are required only when the accused is in custody and subjected to interrogation.
See also Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291, 300 (1980)(“It is clear . . . that the special procedural safeguards outlined in Miranda are required not where a suspect is simply taken into custody, but rather where a suspect in custody is subjected to interrogation.”)
See also Hicks v. State, 5 N.E.3d 424, 428-29 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), reh’g denied, trans. denied(citing Luna v. State, 788 N.E.2d 832, 833 (Ind. 2003))(“The police are required to advise a suspect of his Miranda rights only if the suspect is subjected to custodial interrogation.”)
Cf. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S.436, 478-79 (1966), reh’g denied(“[W]e hold that when an individual is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom by the authorities in any significant way and is subjected to questioning, the privilege against self-incrimination is jeopardized. Procedural safeguards must be employed to protect the privilege and unless other fully effective means are adopted to notify the person of his right of silence and to assure that the exercise of the right will be scrupulously honored, the following measures are required. He must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires.”)
• Miranda warnings do not need to be given when the person questioned has not been placed in custody.
Interpretations of “in custody”
• To be “in custody,” a suspect need not be placed under formal arrest.
• When determining whether a person was in custody or deprived of his freedom, “the ultimate inquiry is simply whether there is a ‘formal arrest or restraint on freedom of movement’ of the degree associated with a formal arrest.”
See Hicks v. State, 5 N.E.3d 424, 429 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), reh’g denied, trans. denied(citing State v. Hicks, 882 N.E.2d 238, 241 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008))(“In determining whether a person was in custody or deprived of freedom such that Miranda warnings are required, our ultimate inquiry is whether there is a formal arrest or a restraint of the freedom of movement of the degree associated with a formal arrest.”)
• [T]his is determined by examining whether a reasonable person in similar circumstances would believe he is not free to leave.
See Bean v. State, 973 N.E.2d 35, 41 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), trans. denied(quoting Morris v. State, 871 N.E.2d 1011, 1016 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007), trans. denied)(“‘[A] person is in custody if a reasonable person under the same circumstances would have believed that he or she was under arrest or not free to resist the entreaties of the police.’”)
• Ultimately, the question of custody is an objective test based upon how a reasonable person in the suspect’s shoes would understand the situation and not upon the subjective views or beliefs of the interrogating officers and suspect.
See Hicks v. State, 5 N.E.3d 424, 429 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), reh’g denied, trans. denied(citing State v. Hicks, 882 N.E.2d 238, 241 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008))(“We . . . are concerned with objective circumstances, not upon the subjective views of the interrogating officers or the suspect.”)
• We apply a totality of the circumstances test in determining whether a suspect was in custody, and “the mere fact that a person is not placed in handcuffs or otherwise physically restrained by the police does not necessarily mean a person is not in custody.”
See Hicks v. State, 5 N.E.3d 424, 429 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), reh’g denied, trans. denied(citing State v. Hicks, 882 N.E.2d 238, 241 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008))(“We examine all the circumstances surrounding an interrogation.”)
• Conversely, the fact that an interrogation takes place at a police station or other “coercive environment” does not necessarily mean the suspect is in custody.
See Luna v. State, 788 N.E.2d 832, 834 (Ind. 2003)(quoting Oregon v. Mathiason, 429 U.S. 492, 495 (1977))(“‘[A] noncustodial situation is not converted to one in which Miranda applies simply because a reviewing court concludes that ... the questioning took place in a ‘coercive environment.’ Any interview of one suspected of a crime by a police officer will have coercive aspects to it, simply by virtue of the fact that the police officer is part of a law enforcement system which may ultimately cause the suspect to be charged with a crime. But police officers are not required to administer Miranda warnings to everyone whom they question. Nor is the requirement of warnings to be imposed simply because the questioning takes place in the station house, or because the questioned person is one whom the police suspect.’”)
• The Seventh Circuit has compiled the following helpful list of factors commonly considered by courts in determining whether a person was in custody for purposes of Miranda: whether and to what extent the person has been made aware that he is free to refrain from answering questions; whether there has been prolonged, coercive, and accusatory questioning, or whether police have employed subterfuge in order to induce self-incrimination; the degree of police control over the environment in which the interrogation takes place, and in particular whether the suspect’s freedom of movement is physically restrained or otherwise significantly curtailed; and whether the suspect could reasonably believe that he has the right to interrupt prolonged questioning by leaving the scene.
• We conclude that . . . a person who goes voluntarily for a police interview, receives assurances that he is not under arrest, and leaves after the interview is complete has not been taken into “custody” by virtue of an energetic interrogation so as to necessitate Miranda warnings.
Interpretations of “interrogation”
• “An interrogation occurs only when officers intend to elicit, by whatever means, substantive evidence concerning criminal activity.”
• Under Miranda, “interrogation” refers to “either express questioning or its functional equivalent.”
See State v. Bowen, 491 N.E.2d 1022, 1024 (Ind. Ct. App. 1986)(citing Staton v. State, 428 N.E.2d 1203, 1209 (Ind. 1981))(“Custodial interrogation includes, but is not limited to, questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after an accused has been deprived of his freedom in any significant way.”)
• The [United States Supreme] Court has defined the functional equivalent of express questioning as “any words or actions on the part of the police (other than those normally attendant to arrest and custody) that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect.”
See State v. Moore, 23 N.E.3d 840, 853-54 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014)(alteration in the original)(“‘[C]ustodial interrogation for purposes of Miranda includes both express questioning and words or actions that, given the officer’s knowledge of any special susceptibilities of the suspect, the officer knows or reasonably should know are likely to ‘have . . . the force of a question on the accused,’ Harryman v. Estelle, 616 F.2d 870, 874 (5th Cir. 1980), and therefore be reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.’ Penn. v. Muniz, 496 U.S. 582, 601 (1990).”)
See also Castillo-Aguilar v. State, 962 N.E.2d 667, 670 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), trans. denied(citing White v. State, 772 N.E.2d 408, 412 (Ind. 2002))(“Under Miranda, ‘interrogation’ includes express questioning and words or actions by police that the police know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.”)
• Such reasonable likelihood of eliciting an incriminating response must be determined from the suspect’s perspective, rather than the intent of the police, because Miranda protections are intended as a layer of protection for the suspect against coercive police practices, “without regard to objective proof of the underlying intent of the police.”
• Limited and focused inquiries on the part of police normally attendant to arrest and custody do not constitute custodial interrogation.
• Verbal efforts to obtain an accused’s surrender or to prevent him from committing suicide or injury to others is not interrogation.
• A consent to search is not a self-incriminating statement, and therefore a request to search does not amount to interrogation.
Joyner v. State, 736 N.E.2d 232, 242 (Ind. 2000)(citing United States v. Saadeh, 61 F.3d 510, 515 (7th Cir. 1995), reh’g denied, suggestion for reh’g en banc denied, cert. denied, 516 U.S. 990 (1995))
• Volunteered statements do not amount to interrogation.
• For more information on volunteered statements, please review Unsolicited Statements.
Routine booking question exception
• [A] routine booking question exception . . . exempts from Miranda’s coverage questions to secure the biographical data necessary to complete booking or pretrial services.
• [T]here are some police questions which do not fall within Miranda’s purview. Questions regarding “name, address, height, weight, eye color, date of birth, and current age” are outside the scope of Miranda’s coverage.
See Furnish v. State, 779 N.E.2d 576, 580 (Ind. 2002), trans. denied(quoting Wright v. State, 766 N.E.2d 1223, 1231 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002)(citing Loving v. State, 647 N.E.2d 1123, 1126 (Ind. 1995)))(“‘[R]outine administrative questions such as name, address, height, and weight are considered within a routine booking exception and are removed from the requirements for Miranda.’”)
See also Castillo-Aguilar v. State, 962 N.E.2d 667, 670 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), trans. denied(citing Loving v. State, 647 N.E.2d 1123, 1126 (Ind. 1995))(“Routine questions for the purpose of identification, such as name, address, height, and weight are not within the purview of Miranda.”)
• [R]ecognizing a booking exception to Miranda does not mean, of course, that any question asked during the booking process falls within that exception. Without obtaining a waiver of the suspect’s Miranda rights, the police may not ask questions, even during booking, that are designed to elicit incriminatory admissions.
Public safety exception: In general
• Miranda warnings are subject to a public-safety exception.
• That is, Miranda warnings are not required when police officers ask questions reasonably prompted by a concern for the public safety.
• [W]e do not believe that the doctrinal underpinnings of Miranda require that it be applied in all its rigor to a situation in which police officers ask questions reasonably prompted by a concern for the public safety.
Public safety exception: Motivation of the individual officers involved
• We hold that on these facts there is a “public safety” exception to the requirement that Miranda warnings be given before a suspect’s answers may be admitted into evidence, and that the availability of that exception does not depend upon the motivation of the individual officers involved.
• In a kaleidoscopic situation such as the one confronting these officers, where spontaneity rather than adherence to a police manual is necessarily the order of the day, the application of the exception which we recognize today should not be made to depend on post hoc findings at a suppression hearing concerning the subjective motivation of the arresting officer. Undoubtedly most police officers, if placed in Officer Kraft's position, would act out of a host of different, instinctive, and largely unverifiable motives—their own safety, the safety of others, and perhaps as well the desire to obtain incriminating evidence from the suspect.
Public safety exception: Rationale
• [T]he need for answers to questions in a situation posing a threat to the public safety outweighs the need for the prophylactic rule protecting the Fifth Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination.
• We decline to place officers . . . in the untenable position of having to consider, often in a matter of seconds, whether it best serves society for them to ask the necessary questions without the Miranda warnings and render whatever probative evidence they uncover inadmissible, or for them to give the warnings in order to preserve the admissibility of evidence they might uncover but possibly damage or destroy their ability to obtain that evidence and neutralize the volatile situation confronting them.
Public safety exception: Examples from case law
• Clearly, where the purpose of the question is to locate and secure any weapons in the suspect’s possession, Miranda warnings are not required.
• [I]n Price v. State, 591 N.E.2d 1027, 1030 (Ind. 1992), this Court recognized that a public-safety exception to the Miranda rule exists when officers “have an immediate concern for the safety of the general public in that an armed weapon remain[s] undiscovered.”
• Though Officer Allender's concern was not for the general public's safety, . . . it was for the safety of another possible victim. There is a fair amount of authority holding that questioning for the limited purposes of locating or aiding a possible victim falls within the “public safety exception” to Miranda.
• After Officer Burton handcuffed [the defendant] and located the box of ammunition in his front sweatshirt pocket, he asked [the defendant] where the gun was because he believed the child was still in the vehicle and wanted to make sure that if the child still [wa]s in the vehicle that . . . [she wasn’t] able to get to the gun to possibly harm [herself]. [The defendant] answered that the gun was in his car. Because Officer Burton's question to [the defendant] about the location of the gun was reasonably prompted by a concern for the safety of [the defendant's] three-year-old stepdaughter, we find that the trial court did not commit error . . . in admitting [the defendant's] statement about the location of the gun.
Gavin v. State, 41 N.E.3d 1038, 1043 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015)(emphasis omitted)(quotation marks and citation to the record omitted)
General on-the-scene questioning exception
• Miranda warnings are not required prior to general on-the-scene questioning related to obtaining the facts of the crime.
See Green v. State, 753 N.E.2d 52, 58 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001)(citing Orr v. State, 472 N.E.2d 627, 636 (Ind. Ct. App. 1984), reh’g denied, trans. denied)(“Miranda warnings are not required prior to questioning as part of a general, on-the-scene investigation in a noncoercive atmosphere.”)
See also Pasco v. State, 563 N.E.2d 587, 593 (Ind. 1990)(citing Seeglitz v. State, 500 N.E.2d 144, 146 (Ind. 1986))(emphasis added)(“In addition, Miranda requirements are not applicable to general on-the-scene questioning in a noncoercive atmosphere nor are Miranda warnings required where an officer asks routine questions for the purpose of obtaining basic identifying information.”)
• General on-the-scene questioning as to facts surrounding a crime or other general questioning of citizens in the fact-finding process is not affected by our holding. It is an act of responsible citizenship for individuals to give whatever information they may have to aid in law enforcement. In such situations the compelling atmosphere inherent in the process of in-custody interrogation is not necessarily present.
Undercover agent exception
• Conversations between suspects and undercover agents do not implicate the concerns underlying Miranda.
• “[T]here is no empirical basis for the assumption that a suspect speaking to those whom he assumes are not officers will feel compelled to speak by the fear of reprisal for remaining silent or in the hope of more lenient treatment should he confess.”
See Williams v. State, 669 N.E.2d 956, 958 (Ind. 1996)(quoting Illinois v. Perkins, 496 U.S. 292, 299 (1990)(“‘Where a suspect does not know that he is speaking to a government agent there is no reason to assume the possibility that the suspect might feel coerced.’”)
• Thus, the essential ingredients of a “police-dominated atmosphere” and compulsion are not present when an incarcerated person speaks freely to someone whom he believes is not an officer.
See Patterson v. State, 563 N.E.2d 653, 655 (Ind. Ct. App. 1990)(“Conversations between a suspect and an undercover agent of the police lack the compulsion and police-dominated atmosphere which would require Miranda warnings . . . .”)
• We hold that an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a fellow inmate need not give Miranda warnings to an incarcerated suspect before asking questions that may elicit an incriminating response.
When probation officers are required to give Miranda warnings
• Miranda warnings need not be given by probation officers legitimately engaged in the supervision of probationers when a) the probationer is not in custody, b) the interrogation is reasonably related to the officer’s duty to supervise the probationer, and, c) the questioning is reasonable under all the circumstances, including the length of time and hour of the day or night it is conducted, the manner in which it is conducted, the persons present during questioning, and the place where it is conducted.
• A probationer who goes to the office of his or her probation officer for a required meeting with the probation officer is not in custody for purposes of the Miranda requirement.
Whether private citizens are required to give Miranda warnings
• Miranda warnings need not be given by private citizens.
• [C]ivilians conducting their own investigation need not give Miranda warnings.
• Even if the officer stationed outside [the defendant’s] hospital room constitutes [the defendant] being in custody, his statements were not elicited by any action of the police. If anything, [the defendant’s] statements appear to have been elicited by his own mother questioning him, during which time no law enforcement personnel were even present.
• Police cannot avoid their duty under Miranda by attempting to have someone act as their agent in order to bypass the Miranda requirements.
Whether private security officers are required to give Miranda warnings
• [S]ecurity officers, as private citizens, are not required to issue the [Miranda] warnings.
• [E]ven if a police officer were acting within his geographical jurisdiction as a private security guard, Miranda rights need not be given as they were here.
• [W]hen police officers are acting in the capacity of private security guards, they shed their cloak of State agency and become agents of the private hiring authority, thereby requiring no more of them with regard to a defendant’s constitutional rights than of any other citizen.
See Rode v. State, 524 N.E.2d 797, 800 (Ind. Ct. App. 1988), reh’g denied, trans. denied(quoting Bowman v. State, 468 N.E.2d 1064, 1068 n. 1 (Ind. Ct. App. 1984))(“Police officers who work as security guards when off duty, shed their ‘cloak of State Agency and become agents of the private hiring authority, thereby requiring no more of them with regard to a defendant’s constitutional rights than of any other citizen.’”)
Whether Miranda warnings are required before media interviews
• Miranda warnings are not required before media interviews.
See Ritchie v. State, 875 N.E.2d 706, 717 (Ind. 2007)(“[The defendant] . . . was in custody and questioned by private citizens acting on their own initiative. The reporters were not under police control, agents of the police, or acting at the direction of police officers. [The defendant] presents no evidence to the contrary. Therefore, a Miranda warning was not constitutionally mandated in this situation.”)
See also Wilkes v. State, 917 N.E.2d 675, 684 (Ind. 2009), reh’g denied, cert. denied, 562 U.S. 981 (2010)(“[W]e reaffirm our holding in Ritchie and conclude that the trial court did not err in rejecting [the defendant’s] claim that the media interview must be excluded from evidence.”)
Whether Miranda warnings are required at traffic stops
• Ordinarily, persons detained for traffic stops are not “in custody” for purposes of Miranda.
• This is not to say a traffic stop may not turn into a custodial situation based upon the conduct of the officer.
See, e.g., Conwell v. State, 714 N.E.2d 764, 767 n. 2 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999)(“Although not raised as an issue by [the defendant], we note that he was probably entitled to have Officer Harvey inform him of his Miranda rights.”)
• This was a conventional traffic stop, and no Miranda warnings were required as the defendant was not in custody.