The exact moment when a police interrogation turns into an arrest is not always clear. But that is the moment when the police must read your Miranda rights—those rights to remain silent and have an attorney present.

Miranda must be given when an individual is in custody and before questioning begins. These rights only apply in inherently coercive, custodial situations. To determine when they apply, an Illinois court looks at 1) the circumstances surrounding an interrogation, and 2) whether a reasonable person would believe they were free to terminate the interrogation and leave. Surprisingly, the use of handcuffs does not automatically mean you are in police custody, although it may be a factor.

To determine whether a reasonable person would feel free to go, Illinois courts consider: 1) the location, time, length, mood and mode of the questioning; 2) the number of police officers present during interrogation; 3) the presence or absence of family and friends of the individual; 4) any indicia of a formal arrest procedure, such as the show of weapons or force, physical restraining, booking or fingerprinting; 5) the manner by which the individual arrived at the place of questioning and 6) the age, intelligence and mental makeup of the accused..” (See People v Coleman.)

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case to determine when you were under arrest and whether the police acted properly. If the arrest was not proper, an attorney can bring a motion asking the judge to throw out any statements you might have made after Miranda warnings should have been given. Even if the police acted properly and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected at the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you can on your own.

See our related post: Your Right To Remain Silent Under New Supreme Court Law.

If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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