Sunday, April 13, 2014


“Handcuffing a suspect during an investigative detention does not automatically make it custodial interrogation for purposes of Miranda.” People v. Davidson, supra, at 972.

Sometimes in the field we have to handcuff people, even though they are not under arrest.  Sometimes we don't have enough evidence to make an arrest, but we suspect there may have been a crime or that the person we have contacted may be involved in something illegal.

Detaining a person when there are circumstances that merit investigation is not an arrest.  If we find out everything is fine or at least that no arrest is needed, that person can be un-handcuffed and sent on their way.  There may be no record of the contact and the person was never arrested.

Occasionally we may need to ask a question or two in order to find out even if a crime has been committed.  If the person is not in custody, then Miranda will usually not apply.  I always make it a point to say, I am handcuffing your for my safety while I conduct an investigation, you are not under arrest, only detained.  This way the suspect knows they are not arrested.  I don't put them in the patrol car or move them around anymore than reasonably necessary.  Handcuffing is not always an arrest, especially if you don't intend it to be and you explain; that's what the SGT Says.

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