Interrogation – formal, systematic, intensive questioning by police, usually of suspects who have been arrested

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n. (15c)

1. The formal or systematic questioning of a person; especially, intensive questioning by the police, usually of a person arrested for or suspected of committing a crime.  *  The Supreme Court has held that, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, interrogation includes not only express questioning but also words or actions that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response. Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 US. 291, 100 S.Ct. 1082 (1980).interrogate, vb. interrogative, adj. [1]

1. The questioning of a criminal suspect by the police.
     See custodial interrogation; Escobedo rule; Miranda rule.

2. The questioning of any person. [2]

interrogating – Propounding questions; questioning, especially, a witness, a prospective witness, or one suspected of the commission of a crime. [3]

Miranda rule – a criminal suspect in police custody must be informed of certain constitutional rights before being interrogated. Miranda v Arizona, 384 U.S., 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602 (1966).

Various Forms of Interrogation:

custodial interrogation (1966) Police questioning of a detained person about the crime that he or she is suspected of having committed.  *  Miranda warnings must be given before a custodial interrogation. [1]

1. A term that arises from the Miranda rule, which provides that a person who has been taken into police custody cannot be questioned until he has been advised of his relevant constitutional rights, including the right to have an attorney present. [1]

investigatory interrogation (1962) Routine, nonaccusatory questioning by the police of a person who is not in custody.

noncustodial interrogation (1966) Police questioning of a suspect who has not been detained and can leave at will.  *  Miranda warnings are usu. not given before a noncustodial interrogation.

interrogative question (1940) Civil law. In a criminal trial, a question asked of a witness to elicit inadmissible evidence relating to the crime at issue in the case.

assertive question (1968) Civil law. A question asked of a witness at a criminal trial, by which inadmissible evidence is sought, to provide the jury with details regarding another crime.

interrogator (18c) Someone who poses questions to another.

interrogatee (1816) Someone who is interrogated. — aka interrogee. [1]



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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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