Oregon v. Mathiason

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Carl Ray Mathiason burglarized a residence. Some 25 days after the crime, the state patrol telephoned Mathiason and asked him to come to the patrol office to talk. Mathiason agreed and came to the station, where he was interrogated for an hour and a half. He was told that he was not under arrest, and no Miranda warnings were given. Mathiason made incriminating statements, after which he was allowed to leave. He was subsequently arrested and convicted. The Oregon Supreme Court reversed the conviction, ruling that Miranda warnings should have been given. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed this ruling and held that Mathiason had not been in custody during his voluntary stationhouse interview. The court explained its rationale as follows:

“Police officers are not required to give Miranda warnings to everyone whom they question. Nor is the requirement of warnings to be imposed simply because the questioning takes place in the stationhouse, or because the questioned person is one whom the police suspect. Miranda warnings are required only where there has been such a restriction on a person’s freedom as to render him ‘in custody.'” (Oregon v. Mathiason)