Police Not Telling a Suspect He Was Free to Leave Consequences

In Ramirez v. State, 739 So. 2d 568, 573 (Fla. 1999) an officer transported the suspect, Ramirez, to the police station, where Ramirez was questioned in a small interrogation room by two detectives. Id. at 572. Ramirez was never told that he was free to leave, and the officers clearly indicated that they considered him a suspect and knew he was involved in the crime. See id. at 574. After reviewing the four relevant factors, this Court concluded that Miranda warnings should have been given because any reasonable person in Ramirez's position would have believed that he was in custody at the time of the interrogation. Id. The court observed that "short of being handcuffed and being told that he was under arrest, we cannot perceive of circumstances that would be more indicative of a custodial interrogation than the circumstances of the interrogation" in Ramirez. Id Likewise, in Mansfield v. State, 758 So. 2d 636, 644 (Fla. 2000), the Court concluded that the defendant was in custody for purposes of Miranda where consideration of the Ramirez factors "inevitably" led to that conclusion: Mansfield was interrogated by three detectives at the police station, he was never told he was free to leave, he was confronted with evidence strongly suggesting his guilt, and he was asked questions that made it readily apparent that the detectives considered him the prime, if not the only, suspect. See also Wolliston v. State, 961 So. 2d 1141, 1142 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007) (holding that defendant was in custody, despite the fact that the interrogation occurred in his own home, because the defendant was confronted with the presence of illegal drugs and was not informed that he was free to leave).