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Adequacy of Miranda Warnings Addressed in Florida v. Powell

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By FindLaw Staff on February 25, 2010 9:23 AM

Florida v. Powell, No. 08-1175, involved a state prosecution for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.  The state supreme court reversed defendant's conviction on Miranda grounds.

As the Court wrote:  "In a pathmarking decision, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436, 471 (1966), the Court held that an individual must be "clearly informed," prior to custodial questioning, that he has, among other rights, "the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation." The question presented in this case is whether advice that a suspect has "the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any of [the law enforcement officers'] questions," and that he can invoke this right "at any time. . . during th[e] interview," satisfies Miranda."

The Court in this case reversed, holding that the police had indeed satisfied Miranda's requirements by informing defendant that he had "the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any of their questions," and that he had "the right to use any of his rights at any time he wanted during the interview."

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