6.150 - Advising Persons of Right to Counsel and Miranda

Effective Date: 01/01/2019


This policy applies to all sworn employees.

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

Officers will advise all persons taken into custody, regardless of interview, as soon as practical.

See Superior Court Rule CrR 3.1

2. Miranda Warnings Will Precede Custodial Interview

Officers will give Miranda warnings before questioning a person 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 reading Miranda and the interview.

3. Officers Will Include All Elements of Miranda for Adults and Establish Understanding

When advising an adult of Miranda, officers will include these 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 ask 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 Will Read Specific Warnings for Juveniles and Establish Understanding

Officers will use the following language when reading Miranda to a juvenile:

1. “You have the right to remain silent, which means that you don’t have to say anything.”

2. “It’s OK if you don’t want to talk to me.”

3. “If you do want to talk to me, I can tell the juvenile court judge or adult court judge and Probation Officer what you tell me, and what you tell me can be used against you in court.”

4. “You have the right to talk to a free lawyer now. That free lawyer helps you decide if it’s a good idea to answer questions. That lawyer does not tell anyone what you tell them. That free lawyer can be with you if you want to talk with me. That free lawyer works for you and is available at any time – even late at night.”

5. “If you start to answer my questions, you can change your mind and stop at any time, and then I won’t ask you any more questions.”

- “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.”

Juvenile Waiver of Rights:

1. “Do you understand?” (If yes, then continue to # 2)

2. “Do you want to talk to a lawyer now?” (If no, then continue to #3)

3. “Do you want to talk with me?” (If yes, then proceed with questioning). A parent or guardian must waive the rights of a juvenile under the age of 12, and may be present during the interview.

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

When advising a hearing-impaired person of Miranda, officers will 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 Will Provide Miranda in Appropriate Language

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

7. Officers Will Document the Advising of Miranda

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

- Explanation of Rights Form

- Officer statement

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

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

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

See Manual Section 7.110-Recorded Statements.

8. Officers Will 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. Officers Will Re-read Miranda to the Arrestee, if the Arrestee Invokes the Right to Remain Silent, and the Officer Later Re-Initiates Contact

10. Officers Will Use the Appropriate Explanation of Rights Form

The Explanation of Rights (form 9.28.1), in all translations, is used for adults only.

The Explanation of Rights (form 9.28.2), in all translations, is used for juveniles only.