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Florida v. Powell


Police arrested the defendant and read him a Miranda warning prior to questioning. He waived his rights and made criminal admissions. The warning used included the following, “You have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any of our questions” and “[y]ou have the right to use any of these rights at any time you want during this interview.”


Whether the warning language used adequately informed the defendant of his right to have his attorney present during questioning, as required by Miranda?


Yes. The warning requirements are satisfied when the language reasonably conveys to the suspect his rights as required by Miranda.


The rights that are required under Miranda to be given in warnings to a custodial suspect cannot be varied, and must include the right to have an attorney present during any questioning. However, the words used to communicate the information may be varied, so long as they adequately inform the suspect the essential rights required under Miranda. The warning that was used did not omit any of the required rights under Miranda. While not in the clearest possible language, taken together, the words used did reasonably convey that an attorney could be present not only at the outset, but at all times during the interview.


559 U.S. 50, 130 S. Ct. 1195 (2010)

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