Pre-arrest Miranda Warnings May Continue in Effect Following Arrest – State v. Dispoto

In today’s Supreme Court decision in State v. Dispoto, the Justices invalidated a controversial ruling by the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division had previously held that if police provide Miranda warnings to a criminal suspect who has not been arrested, those warnings are ineffective once the suspect has been arrested and must be repeated prior to a custodial interrogation.

In rejecting this holding, the Supreme Court declined to create any “bright-line” or per se rule regarding providing Miranda warnings to suspects who have not yet been arrested. Rather, the Court noted that it will use a “totality of the circumstances” test on a case by case basis to see whether new Miranda warnings should be applied following the arrest of the defendant.

The Dispoto decision is also a domestic violence (DV) case during which the investigating police obtained a DV search warrant to recover weapons. The warrant was issued on clearly insufficient evidence. During the ensuing search for weapons, the police developed probable cause to seek a criminal search warrant which led to the recovery of a substantial amount of illegal drugs. The Justices held that the police may not use a wrongfully granted DV search warrant to boot-strap their criminal investigation.

Download a copy of State v. Dispoto

Category: Muni-Mail Archive