YUMA, Ariz. – A Yuma County case is now causing the Arizona Supreme Court the task to specify when Miranda Rights should be read to a suspect.
It all started after a Yuma man was questioned by police about a burglary without getting a Miranda warning. Now Carlos Maciel is appealing his conviction from September 2015. The main issue in his case is whether he was in custody or free to leave at the time he first admitted to going into a vacant building.
“Mr.Maciel was seated on the curb. Now first of all he’s not allowed to stand. He has to sit down. You know if your not under any type of control by law enforcement why do you have to be on the curb,” Attorney Amanda Taylor said.
To research local law enforcement protocol we asked Yuma County Sheriff’s Officials when Miranda Rights are meant to be read.
“When we advise people of there constitutional rights it’s usually when we are about to question them about a crime that we think they may have been involved in. So if they incriminate themselves they understand what there rights are and when they can have an attorney present. We read them off a card we don’t say them out of memory,” YCSO Patrol Commander Mark Martinez said.
Still attorneys say there are three exceptions to when someone doesn’t need to be read the Miranda Rights. One exception is when the public’s safety is at risk, if a police officer is just reading routine booking questions or if the person is a jail house informant.
“The Supreme Court is going to define what the supreme court laid out. When the supreme court laid out what the exceptions were for the waiver. Like you can waive the reading of the rights of which case that’s a valid waiver they can question you or you don’t,” said Taylor.
That’s crucial when it comes to Maciel’s case that led to a burglary conviction in the third degree.
The Arizona Supreme Court will have scheduled arguments regarding Miranda rights on June 28th.