A five to ten minute pause does not require new miranda warnings


Officer Tony Smith testified that he, along with Officers Mike Williams and Brett Flake, arrived at Harmon Mooney’s residence in Leake County to serve an arrest warrant. Smith approached Mooney and informed him he was under arrest. Smith handcuffed Mooney and informed him of his Miranda rights. Smith testified that Mooney indicated that he understood his Miranda rights.

Smith then conducted a pat down search of Mooney and found a pair of bags containing a white crystal substance in Mooney’s front pant’s pockets. Williams and Flake corroborated Smith’s testimony. They also testified that they did not hear Smith attempt to coerce or promise Mooney anything in exchange for a statement.

Smith transported Mooney to the Leake County jail. During transport, Smith testified that he had a “casual conversation” with Mooney. Smith testified that during this casual conversation he reminded Mooney of his rights. Smith also stated that this conversation occurred around five to ten minutes after Mooney was originally read his rights.

Smith then testified that during the “conversation” Mooney said the “stuff” on him was a quarter gram of methamphetamine and that he paid twenty dollars for it. Mooney described it as “home made meth.” Smith testified that he never attempted to coerce or promise Mooney anything during the “conversation.”

Mooney was convicted of possession of methamphetamine and sentenced to five years. On appeal, he argued the statement was involuntary. MCOA affirmed.


Smith testified that he did not coerce or promise anything to Mooney in exchange for the statements. Smith’s testimony was corroborated by Williams and Flake, who testified that they did not hear Smith attempt to coerce Mooney or promise him anything. Thus, the State met its burden of proving a prima facie case of voluntariness. Without any other evidence to the contrary, this evidence was enough to establish that Mooney’s statement to Smith was voluntary.

Mooney argues that he had not waived his right to counsel or his right against self incrimination.

The right to have an attorney present must be specifically invoked. Also, if the right to remain silent is invoked, the interrogation must cease. Each of these rights must be invoked and once they are invoked, interrogation must cease. There is no evidence from the record that suggests Mooney even attempted to invoke either of these rights. Thus, this argument that the confession was involuntary due to failure to waive either right is without merit.

Mooney also argues that the confession came at a different time and place from when he was informed of his Miranda rights. Smith testified that the confession occurred only five to ten minutes after Mooney had been advised of his Miranda rights. Further, the incriminating statements were given to the same officer that read Mooney his Miranda rights.

In Taylor v. State, 789 So. 2d 787 (Miss. 2001), MSC held that five to ten minutes constituted a pause in questioning that did not require a renewal of Miranda warnings. Smith testified that during the conversation with Mooney he reminded Mooney of his Miranda rights. Even without this reminder, the brief pause between the issuing of the Miranda warnings and the confession did not amount to enough time to warrant a renewal of the Miranda warnings. This issue is also without merit.