6.150 - Advising Persons of Right to Counsel and Miranda

Effective Date:  01/01/2015

6.150-POL

This policy applies to all sworn employees.

1. Officers Shall Advise All Arrestees of Their Full Miranda Rights

Officers shall give this advisement to all persons taken into custody, regardless of interview, as soon as practical.

See Superior Court Rule CrR 3.1

2. Miranda Warnings Must Precede Custodial Interview

Officers must give Miranda warnings before questioning a person who is in custody.  (i.e., custodial interview)

- A juvenile’s age is a consideration in determining whether the juvenile would not feel free to leave.  A child may be in custody for purposes of the Miranda rule when an adult in the same circumstances would not.

If the arresting officer is awaiting the arrival of a follow up detective, the officer may postpone the reading of Miranda and the interview.

3. Officers Must Include All Elements of Miranda and Establish Understanding

When advising a person of Miranda, officers will include the following statements:

- “You have the right to remain silent.”

- “Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.”

- “You have the right at this time to talk to a lawyer and have your lawyer present with you while you are being questioned.”

- “If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before questioning, if you wish.”

Officers will establish that the suspect understands in one of two ways:

- By asking “Do you understand” after each of the four Miranda warnings, or

- By asking, “Do you understand each of these rights?” after reading all of the warnings.

Officers may then begin asking questions.

If the arrestee makes a comment that causes the officer to believe that the arrestee might be requesting an attorney, officers will ask the arrestee to confirm, with a “yes” or “no” answer, whether the arrestee is requesting an attorney.

4. Officers Shall Read Additional Warning for Juveniles

When reading Miranda to a juvenile, officers shall include the following warning:

- “If you are under the age of 18, anything you say can be used against you in a juvenile court prosecution for a juvenile offense and can also be used against you in an adult court criminal prosecution if you are to be tried as an adult.”

A parent or guardian must waive the rights of a juvenile under the age of 12, and has the right to be present during the interview.

5. Officers Shall Include Additional Warning for the Hearing-Impaired

When advising a person who is hearing-impaired of Miranda, officers shall include the following warning:

- “If you are hearing-impaired, the Seattle Police Department has the obligation to offer you an interpreter without cost and will defer interviews pending the appearance of the interpreter.”

See RCW 2.42.120 Appointment of interpreter — Responsibility for compensation — Reimbursement.

See Seattle Police Manual Section 15.250-Interpreters/Translators.

6. Officers Shall Provide Miranda in Appropriate Language

When advising a person who speaks limited English of Miranda, officers shall give Miranda warnings in an appropriate language to establish understanding. 

7. Officers Shall Document the Advising of Miranda

Officers may document the Miranda advisement in at least one of the following ways:

- Explanation of Rights Form (English/ Spanish)

- Officer statement

- Department-approved recording device (This includes In-Car Video)

If officers are recording a custodial interview, the Miranda warnings must also be recorded, even if they have been previously given to the suspect. 

See RCW 9.73.090 (1)(b)(iii)

See Manual Section 7.110-Recorded Statements.

8. Officers Shall Stop Questioning Once an Arrestee has Invoked the Right to a Lawyer

Once an arrestee invokes the right to counsel, officers shall stop questioning unless the suspect reinitiates contact.

Though officers may not ask further questions, they may document anything the arrestee says that is unsolicited.

Exception: Officers may continue questioning related to locating a kidnapped or missing person, or evidence, such as a gun, for public safety reasons.

9. Should an Arrestee Clearly Invoke the Right to Remain Silent, Officers Must Read Miranda Again if They Later Re-Initiate Contact