Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
We fight for justice, integrity, and civil rights.
Miami Criminal Defense Attorney / Blog / General / Do the Police Have to Read My Rights Again If I “Re-Initiate” Contact?

Do the Police Have to Read My Rights Again If I “Re-Initiate” Contact?


One of the most basic principles of criminal defense law is that a suspect never has to answer questions to the police. Indeed, every police officer knows they must give a Miranda warning advising a person of both this right to remain silent as well as the right to speak with an attorney. Such warnings are required before the police initiate any custodial interrogation. And that interrogation must cease once the suspect invokes their rights.

Florida Supreme Court Abandons “Categorical” Rule Against Police

The Florida Supreme Court recently clarified what must happen if the suspect later chooses to “re-initiate” contact with the police after previously invoking their Miranda rights. In 2018, the court held that the police “automatically violated” a suspect’s rights if they failed to re-read Miranda warning in such situations. But in this more recent case, State v. Penna, the Florida justices abandoned their prior decision.

This case involved a defendant charged with stabbing two people to death during a burglary and attempted robbery. While evading the police, the defendant attacked another person before fleeing into the woods. After refusing police commands to stop and drop his knife, the officers shot him four times.

The defendant was taken to a nearby hospital, where he remained under care for several weeks. The day after his admission, a police detective read the defendant his rights and started asking questions. After initially answering, the defendant soon invoked his right to counsel. The detective then properly ceased the interrogation.

Police officers continued to monitor the defendant while he remained in the hospital. About a month and a half after his initial conversation with the detective, the defendant chose to speak with another officer assigned to monitor him. The defendant asked the officer why he was in the hospital. A few minutes later, the defendant confessed to the stabbings. Over the next few days, the defendant initiated several more conversations with the same officer, again repeating his confession. The second officer never “re-read” the defendant his Miranda rights after he began speaking.

The state charged the defendant with two counts of first-degree murder and several other crimes. The trial judge denied the defendant’s motion to suppress his statements, holding there was no Miranda violation. A jury proceeded to find the defendant guilty, and the trial court sentenced him to life in prison.

The Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal held the officer violated Miranda, however, by not re-reading the defendant his rights prior to some of their conversations. This prompted the state’s appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. In ruling for the state, the Supreme Court said its 2018 decision requiring the police to re-advise a defendant in all cases was no longer valid law. Instead, a trial court must look at the “totality of the circumstances” to determine whether a suspect voluntarily re-initiated contact with the police after invoking their rights. A judge may consider whether an officer re-advised a suspect in making this determination, but it is no longer mandatory for the officer to do so.

Contact Asilia Law Firm Today

The key takeaway here is simple: Never speak to the police when you are questioned on suspicion of a crime. Instead, you should contact a qualified Miami murder/homicide attorney who will zealously defend your rights. Call the Asilia Law Firm today at 786-420-3014 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Get The Justice
You Deserve

Request Your Free Consultation

All Fields Required

By submitting this form I acknowledge that contacting Asilia Law Firm through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information I send is not protected by attorney-client privilege.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms