Custodial Interrogation in Missouri

Custodial interrogation refers to the questioning of a person in custody by law enforcement officers in connection to a criminal investigation. Being in custody doesn’t necessarily mean handcuffs, formal arrest, or physical restraint. A person is considered to be in custody or detained when he or she is deprived of his or her freedom in any significant way. Custodial interrogation is normally utilized by police officers in Missouri to gather information from persons who are reasonably suspected of being directly involved in or responsible for criminal activity. Custodial interrogation in Missouri can go beyond direct questions to involve persuasion, influence, and trickery with the purpose of obtaining a confession or at least any incriminating information statements. It’s important to note that a request for identification does not form part of a custodial interrogation. Besides, by merely asking for identification, the police have not placed you in custody. Custodial interrogation begins when police officers begin to ask questions that may implicate you in a crime.

Miranda Rights

As part of the standard procedure, the police are required to inform a person in custody of their Miranda rights before any questioning. The Miranda warning includes one’s right to an attorney during the interrogation process and the right to remain silent and that anything they say can be used against them in a court of law.

Whether or not a suspect is in custody and whether or not they have been provided with a Miranda warning are essential elements in resolving a criminal case. These elements determine whether or not the information or evidence obtained from a custodial interrogation can be used against a suspect at trial. If the police fail to read a suspect their Miranda rights, the statements obtained from the interrogation may be excluded from evidence at trial. Moreover, evidence obtained from an illegal custodial interrogation is also inadmissible in court.

What are a suspect’s rights during a custodial interrogation?

When in custody, a suspect has a right to remain silent and request an attorney. Missouri laws provide that confessions or incriminating statements gathered during a custodial interrogation may be inadmissible in court if the interrogating officer continues to question or coerce a suspect after he or she has invoked their right to an attorney. Even in a situation where a suspect has waived his or her right to an attorney, they can invoke this right again at any time.

Police officers in Missouri are not allowed to use physical and psychological intimidation to obtain information or evidence from a suspect in custody. Information that is voluntarily given to the police after a suspect has been informed of their Miranda rights is generally admissible in court. However, any tactics that may qualify as physical or psychological intimidation can render statements and information given by a suspect inadmissible in court.

Most often, suspects being questioned in custody end up make incriminating admissions possibly due to coercion or trickery by the police. The best way forward after you’ve been arrested is to cooperate with the police, provide identification, and request for an attorney.

Custodial interrogation in Missouri can be an overly intimidating experience, particularly when you are not represented by a qualified criminal defense attorney in Missouri. Furthermore, the police could trick you to provide incriminating statements which could be used against you in court. Custodial interrogation in Missouri is best handled by a professional criminal defense attorney. If you are arrested for suspicion of involvement in a crime and your situation involves custodial interrogation, it’s in your best interest to consult an experienced Missouri criminal defense attorney to learn more about your constitutional rights, your best defenses and the Missouri complicated legal system.