Confession of a Defendant Who Could Not Afford An Attorney
In Davis v. State, 698 So. 2d 1182 (Fla. 1997), a police officer told an incarcerated defendant who started to make statements about the crime for which he was charged that he would have to reinitiate contact with police before discussing the case because he had asked for a lawyer.
When the defendant said he could not afford an attorney, the officer told him the State would provide one. the defendant then confessed. See id. at 1189.
This Court suggested that because the defendant was not read "his Miranda rights as they are usually set forth, . . . it would be easy to conclude that a formal reading of the Miranda warnings was unnecessary." Id. Despite finding no evidence of an involuntary confession, this Court concluded that the admission of the unwarned statement violated Miranda's creation of a "prophylactic rule intended to ensure that the uninformed or uneducated in our society know they are guaranteed the rights encompassed in the warnings." Id.
This Court concluded that the error was harmless based on the defendant's subsequent waiver of Miranda after a full warning and an ensuing voluntary confession conveying the same information. See id.