Saturday, November 2, 2013

Berkemer v. McCarty case brief

Berkemer v. McCarty case brief summary
468 U.S. 420 (1984)

Petitioner sheriff appealed a judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacating respondent's conviction for petitioner's officer's failure to advise respondent of respondent's constitutional rights prior to interrogation.


  • Petitioner's officer stopped respondent's vehicle and asked if respondent had been using intoxicants. Respondent replied in the affirmative. 
  • Respondent was arrested, asked again about the use of intoxicants, and again answered in the affirmative. 
  • Respondent was never advised of his constitutional rights. 
  • Respondent was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. 
  • He appealed, asserting that the incriminating statements were not admissible as he had not been informed of his constitutional rights prior to interrogation. 
  • The appellate court reversed respondent's conviction and held such rights must be given to all individuals prior to the custodial interrogation. 
  • On review, the Supreme Court held because the initial stop of respondent's car, by itself, did not render respondent in custody, respondent was not entitled to a recitation of constitutional rights. 
  • However, after respondent was arrested, any statements made were inadmissible against him without a reading of his constitutional rights. 
  • Because it could not be determined which statements were relied upon in convicting respondent, vacation of respondent's conviction was affirmed.

The judgment in favor of respondent was affirmed.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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