Bailey v. State (2009)

In Bailey v. State, No. 05-08-01590-CR, 2009 WL 4725348 (Tex. App.--Dallas Dec. 11, 2009, pet. ref'd) (not designated for publication), officers came to the defendant's home to talk to him about sexually explicit online chats the defendant had supposedly been having with a minor, who was actually an undercover police officer. The lead officer questioned the defendant while a uniformed officer stood by the front door to the apartment. The officers had a warrant for the defendant's arrest but did not tell him they had a warrant, and, as in this case, the interview was recorded. The defendant was arrested at the end of the interview. The Court concluded that the interview was not custodial until the officer manifested probable cause to the defendant by reading from the sexually explicit portions of the online chats that the officer was investigating. Accordingly, no Miranda warnings were required to admit the initial portion of the interview, where the defendant admitted to using a particular screen name and chatting with the screen name used by the officer. In Bailey v. State, the defendant was interviewed in his home, not his place of employment. The defendant in Bailey allowed the officer to enter his residence late in the evening, and the defendant's wife was present during the interview. Despite these differences, however, our Bailey opinion is instructive in at least one respect: the Court noted that the record contained no evidence the defendant was subjected to any restriction of movement during the time period at issue, which was the first six minutes and thirty seconds of the questioning, and it was not reasonable for him to believe he was restricted. Furthermore, because the officers did not manifest their probable cause until later in the interview, the defendant was not in custody until that time.