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NCJ Number: 64299 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: INVITATION TO THE STATION HOUSE - A PROBLEM OF VOLUNTARINESS
Journal: FBI LAW ENFORCEMENT BULLETIN  Volume:48  Issue:11  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1979)  Pages:27-31
Author(s): D J MACLAUGHLIN
Corporate Author: Federal Bureau of Investigation
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, DC 20535-0001
Publisher: https://www.fbi.gov 
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE ISSUE OF 'VOLUNTARINESS' OR WHETHER AN OFFICER CAN INVITE AN INDIVIDUAL TO A STATION HOUSE WITHOUT OPENING THE UMBRELLA OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION.
Abstract: TRADITIONALLY, VOLUNTARINESS HAS BEEN DEFINED IN TERMS OF FREE CHOICE. THE VOLUNTARINESS OF A PERSON'S APPEARANCE IN THE COERCIVE SURROUNDINGS OF A STATION HOUSE IS A CONSTITUTIONAL PROBLEM USUALLY RAISED IN CONNECTION WITH DEFENSE EFFORTS TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE IN A CRIMINAL CASE. INDIVIDUALS ARE NOT ARRESTED OR SEIZED UNDER THE FOURTH AMENDMENT IF THEY ARE FREE TO CHOOSE WHETHER TO ENTER OR CONTINUE AN ENCOUNTER WITH POLICE AND ELECT TO DO SO. OFFICERS SHOULD REALIZE THAT THE REQUEST OR INVITATION WILL BE SUBJECTED TO CAREFUL SCRUTINY BY THE COURTS, AND THAT, WHENEVER POSSIBLE, THEY SHOULD AVOID ANY ACTION THAT WILL IMPINGE UPON THE FREEDOM OF THE INVITEE TO DEPART. COURTS ARE APT TO BE PARTICULARLY SENSITIVE TO THE FOLLOWING POINTS: SUSPECTS' FREE CHOICE TO COME TO THE STATION HOUSE; RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR FREEDOM TO DEPART, ADVICE TO SUSPECTS THAT THEY ARE NOT UNDER ARREST OR CUSTODY, PERIOD OF TIME SPENT AT THE STATION, AND SUSPECTS' ACTUAL DEPARTURE AFTER THEIR APPEARANCE. ALSO IMPORTANT IS THE NEED TO MAINTAIN AN ACCURATE ACCOUNT OF WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE AND DURING THE OFFICE APPEARANCE, AS CAREFUL RECORDING OF EVENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES WILL ENABLE THE PROSECUTION TO RETRIEVE THE FACTS NECESSARY TO SUCCESSFULLY WITHSTAND A CLAIM THAT THE APPEARANCE WAS INVOLUNTARY. NO SINGLE FACTOR IS DETERMINATIVE OF FORMAL CUSTODY. RATHER A COURT WILL ANALYZE THE TOTALITY OF SURROUNDING CIRCUMSTANCES, FOLLOWING THE APPROACH APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Police court relations; Police decisionmaking; Police legal limitations; Police-offender relations; Rights of the accused
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64299

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