We all know from TV that police are supposed to read you your rights—also known as Miranda warnings—after they take you into custody but before questioning begins. According to a recent Illinois appellate court decision, the term “questioning” can mean something besides verbally asking questions. It can take the form of police action.

In People v Wright, a police officer handcuffed the defendant, conversed with him about the crime, then took defendant to where he could see police questioning the mother of his children. After seeing the woman get into a police car, presumably arrested for a crime she did not commit, defendant began talking. The court held that the officer’s conduct was an attempt to get the defendant to confess. While Miranda generally applies to questioning, it can also apply to police practices. Therefore, the officer should have read defendant’s Miranda rights and defendant’s incriminating statements should be suppressed.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case to help present your best possible defense. If the police acted illegally, an attorney can bring a motion to try to get the evidence against you dismissed. Even if the police acted property and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(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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