Law Office of Stephen L. Richards
Call for a Free Consultation
toll free: 866-852-6426
local: 773-877-3259

Court of Appeals limits necessary warnings for suspect in standoff

A state appeals court ruled recently that a suspect who was barricaded in his home was not entitled to Miranda warnings before he spoke on the phone with a detective who was trying to end the standoff. The man was suspected as a possible culprit in the death of his father and had barricaded himself in his home when police arrived to arrest him and begin questioning.

Most Chicago readers are familiar with the basic premise of the Miranda warnings, whether they know it by name or not. The Miranda warnings tell suspects or others who are taken into police custody in connection with a crime that they have the constitutional right to remain silent as a part of 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.

In addition, Miranda warnings require police to advise those in custody that statements could be used against them during a criminal proceeding, and that they have the right to counsel from an attorney. The carefully thought out Miranda warnings are designed to make sure that people don't disclose information to police involuntarily or without a full understanding of the potential consequences.

One of the crucial elements to whether police must issue these warnings to someone is whether that person is in police custody or not. In this recent case, the question was whether the man, barricaded in his own home but surrounded by police, was in custody in the legal sense of the term. The court said that he was not, since the statements were made not to police outside his door, but to a detective who he called voluntarily at least twice.

While this case does not influence law in Illinois, it does bring up some important and subtle nuances of the criminal justice process that are not familiar to many, even those who can recite the Miranda warnings from memory. The bottom line in many of these situations is often that seeking the advice and services of an experienced criminal defense attorney before making statements of any kind to police is often the best course of action.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "Court rules barricaded suspects not entitled to Miranda warning," Rafael Olmeda, March 14, 2013.

More information about how to react to allegations of a violent crime can be found on our Cook County criminal defense page.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Super Lawyer
Stephen L Richards

Attorney Stephen L. RichardsTo schedule your free consultation with an experienced lawyer, call me at 866.852.6426, locally at 773.877.3259 or contact me online. Learn More

Review Us


Schedule A Free Initial Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Our Locations:

Law Office of Stephen L. Richards
53 W. Jackson
Suite 756
Chicago, IL 60604

Toll Free: 866-852-6426
Phone: 773-877-3259
Chicago Law Office Map