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Criminal Procedure — Miranda warnings

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Criminal Procedure — Miranda warnings

Where the defendant came to the FBI not as a suspect, but as a job applicant, he was not in custody, and was not entitled to Miranda warnings.

“Pelletier was with the agents for a substantial amount of time—from 9:49 a.m. until 3:20 p.m. Furthermore, Agent Dempsey was armed and wearing a badge during his portion of the interview. It would have been awkward for Pelletier to leave; he would have had to either wander out of an unfamiliar, secured building or ask for an escort back to the front door. That said, Agent Dempsey testified that he would have given Pelletier an escort and let him go if Pelletier had asked. Nevertheless, these circumstances might have weighed in favor of custody if Pelletier had come to the office for questioning as a suspect. But Pelletier did not come to the FBI as a suspect; he came as a job applicant. A reasonable applicant for an FBI job would expect to go through what Pelletier experienced: lengthy interviews in an FBI office, encounters with armed FBI agents, and security measures limiting free movement through the building. Thus, we do not think that a reasonable person in Pelletier’s position would have thought the interview was custodial.”


12-1274 U.S. v. Pelletier

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Kapala, J., Kanne, J.

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