When Is ''Police Custody'' Established In Texas ?

In Dowthitt v. State, 931 S.W.2d 244, 254-57 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996), the Court of Criminal Appeals discussed the determination of whether a person is in "custody" and outlined four general situations that may constitute custody for purposes of Article 38.22. These situations are: (1) when the suspect is physically deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way; (2) when a law enforcement officer tells the suspect he cannot leave; (3) when law enforcement officers create a situation that would lead a reasonable person to believe his freedom of movement has been significantly restricted; (4) when there is probable cause to arrest and law enforcement officers do not tell the suspect he is free to leave. See Dowthitt v. State, 931 S.W.2d at 255. When the fourth situation has occurred, the officer's knowledge of probable cause must be manifested to the suspect. See id. However, the fourth situation does not automatically establish custody; rather, custody is established if the manifestation of probable cause, combined with other circumstances, would lead a reasonable person to believe she is under restraint to the degree associated with an arrest. See id.