When Should a Police Officer Inform Me of My Rights?
These rights only apply to questioning by the police while IN CUSTODY. They generally do not apply to pre-custody questioning such as when a cop comes to the a scene to investigate and is asking questions trying to figure out who did what. "In custody" does not necessarily mean in handcuffs or at the police station. It could be somewhere else. The test of whether someone is "in custody" is based upon the particular circumstances and whether that person was free to leave. A person only has to be notified of these rights just prior to the questioning, not at the time of the arrest.