6.150 - Advising Persons of Right to Counsel and Miranda

Effective Date: 11/01/2020


This policy applies to all sworn employees.

1. Officers Shall Advise All Arrestees of Their Full Miranda Rights

Officers shall give this advisement to all persons taken into custody, regardless of interview, as soon as practical. See Superior Court Rule CrR 3.1.

2. Miranda Warnings Must Precede Custodial Interview

Officers must give Miranda warnings before questioning a person who is in custody. (i.e. custodial interview)

- A juvenile’s age is a consideration in determining whether the juvenile would not feel free to leave. A child may be in custody for purposes of the Miranda rule when an adult in the same circumstances would not.

If the arresting officer is awaiting the arrival of a follow up detective, the officer may postpone the reading of Miranda and the interview.

3. Officers Must Include All Elements of Miranda and Establish Understanding

When advising a person of Miranda, officers will include the following statements:

- “You have the right to remain silent.”

- “Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.”

- “You have the right at this time to talk to a lawyer and have your lawyer present with you while you are being questioned.”

- “If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before questioning, if you wish.”

Officers will establish that the suspect understands in one of two ways:

- By asking “Do you understand” after each of the four Miranda warnings, or

- By asking, “Do you understand each of these rights?” after reading all the warnings.

Officers may then begin asking questions.

If the arrestee makes a comment that causes the officer to believe that the arrestee might be requesting an attorney, officers will ask the arrestee to confirm, with a “yes” or “no” answer, whether the arrestee is requesting an attorney.

4.Officers Shall Read Additional Warning for Juveniles

When reading Miranda to a juvenile, officers shall include the following warning:

- “If you are under the age of 18, anything you say can be used against you in a juvenile court prosecution for a juvenile offense and can also be used against you in an adult court criminal prosecution if you are to be tried as an adult.”

A parent or guardian must waive the rights of a juvenile under the age of 12 and has the right to be present during the interview.

5. After Issuing Miranda Warnings, Officers Will Not Question Any Person Younger than 18 Years of Age or Request Consent from a Juvenile to Search Their Person, Property, Dwelling, or Vehicle Unless the Juvenile has Consulted With Legal Counsel

The youth’s legal consultation may be in person, by telephone, or by video conference and may not be waived, regardless of custody status. Nothing in this section affects the youth’s right to waive counsel after consultation.

After the youth has consulted with legal counsel, the youth may advise, have a parent or guardian advise, or direct legal counsel to advise, the officer as to whether the youth chooses to assert a Constitutional right. Any assertion of rights by the youth via legal counsel shall be treated by an officer as though it came from the youth.

Exception: Questioning a juvenile without legal counsel after issuing a Miranda warning may take place if:

1. The officer who issued the warning reasonably believes the information sought is necessary to protect life from an imminent threat; and

2. Delay to allow legal consultation by phone would hamper the protection of life from an imminent threat; and

3. The questioning is limited to matters reasonably expected to obtain information necessary to protect life from an imminent threat.

6. If a Juvenile Does not Have an Attorney, The Juvenile may Contact the King County Department of Public Defense 24 Hours a Day

The King County Public Defender’s Office may be reached at (206) 477-8899.

7. Attorney-Client Protected Conversations Will Not be Recorded

Officers providing juveniles right to counsel will protect the privacy of the juvenile’s attorney-client privileged communication. If a private room and phone at the precinct is not feasible, in-car video may be stopped to provide privacy during the consultation.

8. Officers Will Report Each Incident Invoking Exceptions to Juvenile Legal Counsel

The report will include:

1. The time the youth was given a Miranda warning;

2. The time the youth was questioned without legal consultation;

3. The reasons that justified questioning the youth without legal consultation;

4. The questions posed to the youth;

5. The youth’s name, age, and race; and

6. The name and badge number of the officer(s) involved in the incident.

On a quarterly basis, the Seattle Police Department will provide these reports to the Office of the Inspector General, the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Director of the King County Department of Public Defense providing copies of the records with the youth’s name redacted and replaced with initials.

9. Officers Shall Include Additional Warning for the Hearing-Impaired

When advising a person who is hearing-impaired of Miranda, officers shall include the following warning:

- “If you are hearing-impaired, the Seattle Police Department has the obligation to offer you an interpreter without cost and will defer interviews pending the appearance of the interpreter.”

See RCW 2.42.120 Appointment of interpreter — Responsibility for compensation — Reimbursement.

See Seattle Police Manual Section 15.250-Interpreters/Translators.

10. Officers Shall Provide Miranda in Appropriate Language

When advising a person who speaks limited English of Miranda, officers shall give Miranda warnings in an appropriate language to establish understanding.

11. Officers Shall Document the Advising of Miranda

Officers may document the Miranda advisement in at least one of the following ways:

- Explanation of Rights Form (English/ Spanish)

- Officer statement

- Department-approved recording device (This includes In-Car Video)

If officers are recording a custodial interview, the Miranda warnings must also be recorded, even if they have been previously given to the suspect.

See RCW 9.73.090 (1)(b)(iii)

See Manual Section 7.110-Recorded Statements.

12. Officers Shall Stop Questioning Once an Arrestee has Invoked the Right to a Lawyer

Once an arrestee invokes the right to counsel, officers shall stop questioning unless the suspect

reinitiates contact. Though officers may not ask further questions, they may document anything the arrestee says that is unsolicited.

Exception: Officers may continue questioning related to locating a kidnapped or missing person, or evidence, such as a gun, for public safety reasons.

13. Should an Arrestee Clearly Invoke the Right to Remain Silent, Officers Must Read Miranda Again if They Later Re-Initiate Contact


Adrian Diaz, Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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