This article is about the split among federal circuit courts about whether Miranda warnings have to be given in certain types of stops (called "Terry" stops, a reference to the 1968 Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio) that involve the police questioning the person who is stopped about the reason they have stopped him or her. Miranda rights refer to a suspect's right to remain silent when he or she is taken into police custody, as the police can use the evidence the suspect gives in a court of law. These rights were conferred on the basis on the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona (1966). "Terry stops" refer to the 1968 Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio, in which the court held that the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable search and seizure are not violated when the police stop a suspect if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person might commit or has committed a crime. As the author of this article, Dinger, writes, "[a]n investigatory stop is permissible under the Fourth Amendment if supported by reasonable suspicion" (page 1479).
Some circuit courts (the First, Fourth, and Eighth circuits) have held that Miranda rights are not required in Terry stops, even those that are coercive in nature. However, other circuit courts (the Second, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth) have held that Miranda warnings are required in certain types of Terry stops that are coercive. The Eleventh Circuit has not held either of these viewpoints. In the 2008 case United States v. Artiles-Martin, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida identified this split.
The author examines the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, the Miranda case, and the Terry case. The central question the author looks at is the following:
"How much force and coercion can be used without converting a Terry detention into a de facto arrest for which an officer needs probable cause, or if questioning is involved, without converting the stop into custodial interrogation for which Miranda warnings are required" (page 1487).
The author maintains that "in the majority of cases, coercive Terry detentions do not require Miranda warnings" (page 1579).