Berkemer v. McCarty - Miranda Warnings, The Questioning Of Mccarty, Were Mccarty's Rights Violated?
Harry J. Berkemer, Sheriff of Franklin Country, Ohio
Richard N. McCarty
That police officers need not provide Miranda warnings prior to misdemeanor interrogations either at roadside traffic stops, in a patrol car, or at a police station and that McCarty's statements made during questioning at the police station should be admissible.
Chief Lawyer for Petitioner
Alan C. Travis
Chief Lawyer for Respondent
R. William Meeks
Justices for the Court
Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, Thurgood Marshall (writing for the Court), Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White
Date of Decision
2 July 1984
Police must inform people of their rights in accordance with the Miranda doctrine when formally arrested or vigorously questioned for any offense, including a misdemeanor traffic violation. The Court also held that the Miranda rule does not apply to routine questioning for a roadside traffic stop.
This case helped the U.S. Supreme Court determine more precisely when police officers must read motorists the Miranda warnings for traffic stops and violations. Whereas in United States v. Murray, the Court found that routine questioning pertaining to a traffic stop does not require the reading of the motorist's rights the Court ruled that police must inform motorists of their rights if they formally arrest them and take them into custody.
- Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).
- Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).
- National Highway Safety Administration. Highway Safety Desk Book. Available from http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/enforce/deskbk.html.
- Pagel, Briane F. "Maybe It's Better to Just Leave Earlier: Traffic Stops and Your Rights." The Badger Herald, 1996.
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