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Old June 20th, 2008, 05:43 PM
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Default Must civilian read someone their miranda rights if they place them under arrest?

I was just thinking about miranda rights today so I was looking around. If a person were to subdue and arrest a person if they were indeed acting in a felony, would the person be required to read them their Miranda rights? i.e. creating a pair of zip cuffs and restraining the person in question.

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Old June 20th, 2008, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Must civilian read someone their miranda rights if they place them under arrest?

No lawful requirement. Actually, best to not ask questions until the police eventually show up. Anything you say he said might be hearsay and inadmissable anyway.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Must civilian read someone their miranda rights if they place them under arrest?

I am at work so am blocked from the laws.

But, IIRC, the law states you can detain (and use force if necessary such as handcuffs etc.) until you can safely release custody when the police arrive.

It is referenced in two sections I believe. Once for detaining and once for detaining with force.

Other, more detailed replies will be forthcoming by the others.

(ETA: You are a witness not a representative of government, so no mirandizing. Best to just hold until you can release.)
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Old June 20th, 2008, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Must civilian read someone their miranda rights if they place them under arrest?

I doubt it. It isn't your job to question the suspect. That is for law enforcement. Your job is to just detain him until the police come and actually take him into custody. OMO
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Old June 20th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Must civilian read someone their miranda rights if they place them under arrest?

I was under the impression that police don't need to mirandize anymore... maybe someone could inform me otherwise?
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Old June 20th, 2008, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Must civilian read someone their miranda rights if they place them under arrest?

This is just advice coming from another "Joe" - NOT a lawyer or LEO:


If you detain/arrest someone - make sure absolutely you can prove that they were committing or committed the crime. If you are able to do so there will be absolutely NO reason to question them. Your duty/power isn't to investigate whether the crime took place, but only to arrest when one actually took place.

When I took my armed guard classes in FL, we were instructed to even tell the suspect to "shut up" for their own good. As a guard, we only had the common law powers of arrest just like any citizen - posse comitatus and Hue & Cry.

I believe PA honors the arrest power thing like the common law practice(posse comitatus), which is the following manners:

1. For misdemeanors - you bear witness to the crime first hand at minimum.
2. For felonies - you only have to have "reason to believe" a felony took place or is taking place. In reality you better have proof, evidence and people to swear they saw the crime take place.
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Last edited by knight0334; June 20th, 2008 at 07:40 PM.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Must civilian read someone their miranda rights if they place them under arrest?

Hmm, thanks. I'll look further in to it. What instigated my question was the guy who stopped the bank robber who supposedly had a bomb. I'll read more in to the books and such to verify. I always carry zip ties with me, among other things just to always be ready. They're thin and light, so why not carry zip ties?

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Originally Posted by knight0334 View Post
This is just advice coming from another "Joe" - NOT a lawyer or LEO:


If you detain/arrest someone - make sure absolutely you can prove that they were committing or committed the crime. If you are able to do so there will be absolutely NO reason to question them. Your duty/power isn't to investigate whether the crime took place, but only to arrest when one actually took place.

When I took my armed guard classes in FL, we were instructed to even tell the suspect to "shut up" for their own good. As a guard, we only had the common law powers of arrest just like any citizen - posse comitatus and Hue & Cry.

I believe PA honors the arrest power thing like the common law practice(posse comitatus), which is the following manners:

1. For misdemeanors - you bear witness to the crime first hand at minimum.
2. For felonies - you only have to have "reason to believe" a felony took place or is taking place. In reality you better have proof, evidence and people to swear they saw the crime take place.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Must civilian read someone their miranda rights if they place them under arrest?

Not likely, because Miranda was predicated on the idea of custodial interrogation and the pressure to talk it creates. You're not a cop, and you're not in a police car or station, so he isn't going to have the same degree of pressure to talk.

Regarding hearsay, whatever he says that you'd want to use against him is a statement against interest, and thus excepted from hearsay and a statement by a party-opponent, and thus not hearsay in the first place. So whatever he says is admissible.

Finally, police are civilians. The only people who aren't are active duty military. The word arises from the old French "civilien" meaning of the civil law (itself derived from Latin), rather than of military law. The current trend of using "civilian" to mean someone other than a law enforcement officer, while popular, and even noted in a number of dictionaries, is flat out wrong.

All of this is kinda silly, to be honest. You invite a shitstorm of extraordinary magnitude by deciding to play cop. If you're threatened and you can't run away, defend yourself. It's not your job to arrest or question someone. You're not a cop. And don't carry zip ties, for god's sake, I can't even begin to tell you how silly that's going to look when the guy you arrested sues you. To say nothing of the fact that closing distance or getting physical with a suspect when you're not trained or backed up is universally discouraged by every self-defense expert I've met. You shouldn't even talk at all because anything YOU say can be used against you. And you'd be amazed at the shit that comes out of a guy's mouth when he's just been in a life-threatening confrontation. Don't be the guy who brings his own rope to his own hanging.
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In plain English, while I am an attorney, I'm NOT your attorney, and I'm NOT giving you legal advice.

Last edited by Rule10b5; June 20th, 2008 at 09:42 PM.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Must civilian read someone their miranda rights if they place them under arrest?

Would the perp be conscious enough to understand after the beating you give him before the cops arrive?
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Old June 20th, 2008, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Must civilian read someone their miranda rights if they place them under arrest?

I didn't see the zip-tie thing before..

Dont carry them for THAT purpose, take Rule10b5's advice with that.. IF you have to arrest someone, just physically hold them or at gun point until police arrive. I seriously recommend NOT using such detaining measures like cuffs, zip-ties, etc.

If you go out equipped as such someone could contend that you are impersonating a cop or playing one - instead just being a Citizen Joe doing the right thing for the moment. You shouldn't be going out looking to make an arrest, just doing so if the event requires such interaction.

You will serve yourself and the public as a whole better by limiting yourself to observing and taking note, then passing it along to LEO's - if the nature of the event allows.
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