What are the exceptions to Miranda?

Question: What are the exceptions to Miranda?

Answer: There’s three primary exceptions that we sort of talk about in law school. One of them is the routine booking question exception. And that’s basically a situation where the police question someone, but it’s not really interrogation. They’re asking questions about where do you live? What is your address? What is your profession? What is your date of birth? Your name? Things like that. Even if somebody has invoked their right to remain silent, invoked their Miranda rights, the police are still allowed to ask questions like that because they are thought not to be designed to illicit an incriminating response.

Secondly, there is the jail house informant exception. And that’s a situation where the police sort of use a jailhouse snitch or somebody is acting on behalf of the police but is not technically a police officer; they’re acting as a state agent and they’re essentially trying to trick the suspect into making an admission that could be used against them in court. That jailhouse informant is an exception to the Miranda rule.

And the third very common one is what we call the public safety exception. And that is a situation where there is an imminent danger to the public. For example, a suspected terrorist is arrested, and the police think that this person knows the whereabouts of a bomb or a terrorist attack is going to take place soon and so they interrogate the person to try to get the critical emergency information. Even if that person has invoked their right to remain silent, the police have some leeway in those situations to continue to question them. And many times their responses will still be admissible in court in spite of them having invoked the Miranda rights. Those are really the three primary exceptions to the rule.

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