Invoking the Right to Speak With an Attorney

In Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291 (1980), the defendant, who had been advised of his Miranda rights, invoked the right to speak with an attorney. While en route to the station, the officers in the car began a conversation relating to a missing shotgun. One of the officers stated, "God forbid one of the handicapped children who were nearby might find a weapon with shells and they might hurt themselves." The defendant interrupted the conversation and agreed to show them where he had hidden the shotgun. The broad holding of the Court was that words or actions designed to elicit an incriminating response constitute the functional equivalent of interrogation, for Miranda purposes. See id. at 301. With regard to the Innis case, the Court determined that the conversation between the two officers was not designed to elicit a response. See id. at 302. It is important to mention that whether a statement is voluntary will depend on the totality of the circumstances surrounding the statement. See Sliney v. State, 699 So. 2d 662, 667 (Fla. 1997).