Custody Self-Quiz








Chris and Jimmy are illegally looking for crabs in a state reservoir. Park Ranger Yogi drives past them and parks his SUV in front of their car twenty feet from their crabbing spot, preventing them from driving off. He exits the SUV, ambles on up to within a few inches of the boys’ faces, and says “Hey boys, did you know that what yer up to isn’t exactly kosher?” “Gee Mr. Park Ranger,” says Jimmy, “Sure. We can read those signs over there. What’re you gonna do, slap on the cuffs?” At which point Jimmy starts laughing. Chris feels like running, but doesn’t feel free to just leave with the Park Ranger standing there. Is Jimmy’s statement in response to a custodial interrogation?
Choice 1 Yes, because Chris believes he is not free to leave.
Choice 2 Yes, because a reasonably prudent person would feel denied freedom of movement.
Choice 3 No, because Jimmy does not take the Park Ranger’s authority seriously, and does not actually feel denied freedom of movement.
Choice 4 No, because a Park Ranger is not a police officer.
Lisa is pulled over by Officer Canaan for running a stop sign. Believing he smells booze, the Officer asks if she is drunk. “Why no, Offisher, I’m not drunk. My toleransh is sho high that the bottle of vodka I drank hardly had any effect at all!” She then passes out leaning on the car horn. A blood test taken while she was passed out reveals that she is well above the blood-alcohol limit. When she wakes up in the drunk tank, she is given her Miranda warning at which point she asserts her right to remain silent and requests her attorney.

Can her statement to the arresting officer be used against her at trial?

Choice 1 Yes, because he had probable cause to ask if she was drunk.
Choice 2 Yes, because she was not yet in custody.
Choice 3 No, because she probably did not feel free to leave.
Choice 4 No, because she was drunk and therefore incapable of making an intelligent decision.

In the same facts as the previous question:

Can the results of the blood-test be used against Lisa at her trial?

Choice 1 Yes, because the blood was drawn while she was still passed out, and a Miranda warning at that time would not have done any good anyway.
Choice 2 Yes, because the blood was drawn while she was still passed out, and if police had waited for her to wake up and receive her Miranda warning the evidence in her blood stream might have disappeared.
Choice 3 Yes, because the results of a blood test are not considered a self-incriminating statement under Miranda.
Choice 4 Yes, because unlike a urine test, blood tests are highly accurate.
Mr. Gillespie goes down to the police station after receiving a call from Officer Sinicrope requesting that Gillespie come by at 11 a.m. to discuss some missing musical instruments. Officer Sinicrope has an antique torture chair in the corner of his office (he collects them). When Mr. Gillespie enters the office Sinicrope has his back to the door and is busy on his computer. Mr. Gillespie suddenly feels faint, and the dizzy Gillespie plops down in the antique chair, at which point hidden handcuffs clamp his wrists to the arms of the chair preventing movement. Without turning around, Sinicrope asks “Whad’ya know ‘bout the missing horns?” Without dropping a beat, Gillespie says “I admit it. I stole them!” Sinicrope then turns around and notices Gillespie is in the torture chair. He promptly releases Gillespie, apologizing for the mishap, and reads Gillespie his rights. Was Gillespie in custody for Miranda purposes such that he can exclude his confession at trial?
Choice 1 Yes, because a person would reasonably conclude they were not free to leave.
Choice 2 Yes, because being dizzy, Gillespie could not have stood up even without the handcuff.
Choice 3 No, because Sinicrope was unaware of Gillespie’s position in the chair.
Choice 4 No, because Sinicrope did not threaten Gillespie or otherwise say anything to indicate that he was not free to leave.

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