Fare V. Arizona 1979

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In the case of Fare v. Michael C. (1979), the United States Supreme Court rejected the California Supreme Court’s position that a juvenile's request to see his probation officer constitutes an invocation of the right to remain silent within the context of Miranda v. Arizona (1966).

Sixteen year old Michael C. was taken into custody by the Van Nuys, California police department on suspicion of murder. After being advised of his Maranda rights, and acknowledging he understood them, he was asked if he wanted an attorney. His response was, “Can I have my probation officer here?” (Page 442 U. S. 710). The police told him they could not get ahold of him and he had the right to an attorney. After further discussion regarding the attorney and probation officer, Michael C. stated, “Yeah I want to talk to you" and made incriminating statements and sketches (Page 442 U. S. 711).

The issue at hand is not whether the statements were voluntary, but rather, was his request to see his probation officer a per se invocation of his Fifth Amendment rights, and did the California Supreme Court interpret Miranda to broadly? The California Supreme Court previously
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Supreme Court, in reviewing the standard set in Miranda, held that a “[l]awyer occupies a critical position in our legal system because of his unique ability to protect the Fifth Amendment rights of a client undergoing custodial interrogation. Because of this special ability of the lawyer to help the client preserve his Fifth Amendment rights once the client becomes enmeshed in the adversary process, the Court found that "the right to have counsel present at the interrogation is indispensable to the protection of the Fifth Amendment privilege under the system" established by the Court. Id. at 384 U. S. 469. “Moreover, the lawyer's presence helps guard against overreaching by the police and ensures that any statements actually obtained are accurately transcribed for presentation into evidence.” Id. at 384 U. S.

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