Police Officer Miranda Warnings Texas

A Fast Miranda Warning is No Warning at All

By | Miranda

Baiza v. State | How Slowly Should an Officer Read Miranda Warnings?

Police Officer Miranda Warnings TexasWe all know that the police must read the Miranda warnings before they question someone that is under arrest.  But what does that look like in a practical sense? Can the officer read the Miranda warnings like the side effect warnings in a prescription drug commercial, where we can’t understand them? Or does he have to read them slowly, ensuring that the person being questioned fully understands each provision?  This issue recently came up in Baiza v. State, an appellate case in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gregory Baiza was convicted for sexual assault of his wife and sentenced to twelve years in prison. Baiza was in a common-law marriage with his wife and had two children together. There was an argument between the two when Baiza found out that his wife was pregnant with their third child. Baiza’s wife claims that Baiza forced himself on her after this argument. Eventually the police were called on the scene.

After Baiza’s wife left for the hospital, she decided to press charges on Baiza. A detective came over to get a statement from Gregory Baiza but he refused. The detective then placed Baiza under arrest. Baiza, however, admitted during the second recorded statement that his wife told him to stop but that he kept going – a statement that would ultimately lead to his conviction for rape at trial.

Baiza argued to the Eleventh Court of Appeals that this admission during the recorded statement should not have been allowed into evidence at the trial court. Baiza argued that when the detective read Baiza the Miranda warnings, he read them so fast that they were unintelligible. Specifically, Baiza argued that he did not hear the warning that he was allowed to terminate the interview at any time.

Strict Compliance with Miranda Rules Not Required, But the Reading of Rights Must be Intelligible

In reviewing this issue, the Eleventh Circuit notes that strict compliance with the Miranda rules is not required, but rather a “substantial compliance” will suffice. “Thus, the warnings given to an accused are effective even if not given verbatim, so long as they convey the ‘fully effective equivalent’ of the warnings.” In order for an admission to be allowed in court, the warnings must also be on the recording. The court listened to the recording to determine if the detective gave the prescribed warnings to Baiza. The detective read the warnings from a card to Baiza. The court slowed down the audio and determined that the detective did in fact inform Baiza that he has the right to terminate the interview. However, the Eleventh Circuit determined that when played at actual speed, the “right to terminate” warning is unintelligible.

The Eleventh Circuit determined that because the “right to terminate” warning was unintelligible, that the warnings were not given and that the trial court erred when it allowed the admission into evidence. The Court then went on to find that they did not have fair assurance that the error did not influence the jury or that the error influenced the jury only slightly by incorrectly allowing this admission into evidence. For these reasons, the Eleventh Circuit reversed the judgment and remanded for a new trial.

It is very difficult to get a case overturned, even when evidence has been incorrectly admitted. But here, the Court finds that even though the detective read Baiza his Miranda warnings, reading them so quickly as to make a key part unintelligible was enough to keep out an admission by Baiza from evidence. Specifically, the court finds that the “right to terminate” is a crucial part of the Miranda warnings and that a detective or officer cannot read them so quickly as to make them unintelligible or any admission shall not be admitted into evidence.

Read the full opinion in Baiza v. State.

Texas Defense Attorneys Miranda Warning

Miranda or No Miranda, Do Not Make a Statement

By | Miranda

Texas Defense Attorneys Miranda WarningIn the landmark case Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court created what are now commonly referred to as “Miranda Rights.” These rights were created to mitigate the coercive effect of interrogations while a defendant is in police custody. Recognizing that the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit forced self-incrimination, the Supreme Court mandated that defendants are made aware of these rights before any custodial interrogation begins, namely their right to remain silent and their right to the presence of an attorney. However, if a defendant is not in custody, police officers do not have to read him or her their Miranda Rights, despite being questioned about an alleged crime.

A person is in custody for Miranda purposes when he or she is placed under formal arrest, or a reasonable person would not feel free to leave during questioning. If a defendant feels free to terminate the interrogation at any time, they are not in custody. The Court uses five factors in their analysis: (1) the length of the questioning, (2) the location of the questioning, (3) the accusatory, or non-accusatory, nature of the questioning, (4) the amount of restraint on the individual’s physical movement, and (5) statements made by officers regarding the individual’s freedom to move or leave. Using these factors and the totality of the circumstance, the Court will determine if the restraint on one’s freedom arises to the degree usually associated with a formal arrest.

In United States v. Wright, a search warrant was executed at the defendant’s home in connection to an on-going child pornography investigation. A police officer escorted the defendant to his police car where the defendant could wait during the search. The officer told the defendant that he was not under arrest and could leave whenever he wanted. He was not handcuffed or restrained in any way. Before being questioned, the defendant was read his Miranda Rights and again told that he could leave at any time because he was not under arrest. The defendant made several incriminating statements that he later moved to suppress at trial, arguing that he had unambiguously requested an attorney to be present during questioning.

Nevertheless, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the defendant was never in custody for Miranda purposes, so he was not entitled to the right of counsel, and thus the Court denied his motion. The defendant was made aware on at least two different occasions that he was not under arrest and that he could leave at anytime. Moreover, the defendant’s movement was not restrained during questioning that prevented him from leaving, and his overall tone during the interview was cooperative since he was trying to tell his story to the police officer. Because of these factors, the Court held that the defendant’s incriminating statements were admissible at trial.

As we continue to advise: Do not make any statements to the police when they are investigating you for a crime (regardless of whether you are in “custody’). Ask for an attorney and wait until you get one before you say anything.

Drug Crimes House

5th Circuit Update: Evidence Admitted Over Miranda Violation

By | Drug Crimes, Miranda

United States v. Gonzalez-Garcia, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 3366 (5th Cir. Tex. Feb. 15, 2013)

Drug Crimes HouseA federal agent saw Appellant walk out of a house under surveillance as part of a drug investigation.  The agent approached Appellant, handcuffed him and placed him in his police vehicle.  Without advising Appellant of his Miranda rights, the agent asked him if he was guarding a drug-house and if there were drugs in the house.  Appellant replied, “Yes” to both questions and then requested an attorney.  The agent asked Appellant for consent to search the house, which Appellant granted.

The agents found over two thousand kilograms of marijuana in the house. The district court suppressed Appellant’s admissions that he was guarding marijuana in the house because they were obtained in violation of Miranda, which the government conceded on appeal.  However, the district court refused to suppress the marijuana recovered from the house.

First, Appellant argued the marijuana should have been suppressed because the agent obtained consent to search from Appellant after he requested an attorney.  Second, Appellant claimed the agents’ use of his admissions, which were later suppressed, automatically rendered his consent to search involuntary. The Court disagreed.

In Edwards v. Arizona the Supreme Court held when an accused invokes his right to counsel, he is not subject to further questioning until counsel has been made available to him.  However, a violation of the Edwards rule does not require suppression of physical, non-testimonial evidence.  Consequently, even if the agent violated Edwards when he asked Appellant for consent to search the house, that violation would not justify suppression of the marijuana, which is physical, non-testimonial evidence.

Next, the court held Appellant’s consent was not automatically rendered involuntary because his Miranda rights were violated.  Such a rule is not consistent with the multi-factor approach courts must use when determining voluntariness.  Using that approach, and considering the Miranda violation, the district court found Appellant voluntarily consented to the search of the house.

Pre-Arrest, Pre-Miranda Right to Remain Silent

By | Miranda

You have the right to remain silent…as long as you’re in custody and have been mirandized.

In Salinas v. State, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals addressed an issue about which it and the Supreme Court have remained silent while many other courts across the nation are split; whether the state may comment on an accused’s silence prior to his arrest and Miranda warnings.

In Salinas, the appellant was convicted for murder and sentenced to 20 years in the penitentiary after the state introduced evidence during guilt/innocence about his refusal to answer a question about the possibility of the shotgun shells found on scene matching the shotgun found at his residence.  Appellant refused to answer the question, choosing to remain silent, at a time prior to his arrest and before the police had issued any Miranda warnings.  The defense argued the state was solely using the testimony regarding appellant’s silence as evidence of his guilt in violation of the 5th Amendment.

The Fourteenth Court of Appeals (Houston) affirmed the trial court’s decision to allow the questioning, focusing on the difference between post-arrest, post-Miranda silence and pre-arrest, pre-Miranda silence.  The court of appeals noted that the appellant voluntarily answered questions by police for over an hour before refusing to answer the ballistics question.  Citing Justice Stevens concurring opinion in Jenkins v. Anderson, 447 U.S. 231 (1980) the CCA held:

the Fifth Amendment right against compulsory self-incrimination is “irrelevant to a citizen’s decision to remain silent when he is under no official compulsion to speak.”

The CCA spent little time in this opinion to proclaim loudly it affirms the Fourteenth Court’s holding:

The plain language of the Fifth Amendment protects a defendant from compelled self-incrimination.  In pre-arrest, pre-Miranda circumstances, a suspect’s interaction with police officers is not compelled.

Now, we will continue waiting for SCOTUS to speak up on the issue hoping they don’t continue exercising their right to remain silent…

UPDATE:  US Supreme Court opinion – Salinas Supreme Court Opinion

Howes v. Fields

Questioning an Inmate About an Unrelated Crime? Miranda Warnings?

By | Miranda

Howes v. FieldsHowes v. Fields is a U.S. Supreme Court Case that was released on February 21, 2012.  In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that there is no bright line rule for determining when an inmate is in “custody,” such that Miranda warnings are required if officers wish to questions him about an unrelated crime.

While serving a jail sentence, a corrections officer escorted Fields to a conference room where two police officers questioned him about an unrelated crime.  At the beginning of the interview, the officers told Fields that he could leave whenever he wanted.  Fields eventually confessed to the crime.  The officers never advised Fields of his Miranda warnings or told him that he did not have to speak with him.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that any time an inmate is taken from the general prison population and questioned about a crime that occurred outside the prison, he is always in-custody for Miranda purposes.  Makes sense, right?
The Supreme Court disagreed.  The Court held that serving a term of imprisonment, by itself, is not enough to constitute Miranda custody.  When a prisoner is questioned, the determination of Miranda custody should focus on all of the circumstances surrounding the interrogation, to include the language that is used in summoning the prisoner to the interview and the manner in which the interrogation is conducted.

In this case, the Court held that Fields was not in-custody for Miranda purposes.  Although the interview lasted between five and seven hours and continued well past the time Fields went to bed, the officers told Fields several times that he could leave and go back to his cell whenever he wanted.  Additionally, the interview was conducted in comfortable conference room, the officers did not physically restrain or threaten Fields and they offered him food and water.  All of these facts are consistent with an interrogation environment in which a reasonable person would have felt free to terminate the interview and leave.

Non-Custodial Interrogation

Just Saying an Interrogation is “Non-Custodial” Doesn’t Make it So

By | Miranda

Non-Custodial InterrogationUnited States v. Cavazos is a case out of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (Federal).  It involves an interlocutory appeal by the government after the trial court (U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas) suppressed incriminating statements made by the accused prior to receiving his Miranda warnings.

Here’s what happened:  Federal agents executed a warrant on the defendant’s home between 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. searching for evidence that he had sent sexually explicit material to a minor female.  Approximately fourteen agents and officers (that’s right, 14 agents and officers!) entered the residence and handcuffed the defendant as he was getting out of bed.  After the home was secured, agents removed the handcuffs and took the defendant to a bedroom for an interview.  Agents told the defendant that it was a “non-custodial” interview, that he was free to get something to eat and drink during it, and that he was free to use the bathroom (they curiously left out the part about him being free to leave and free to not answer their questions and free to seek the advice of counsel, hmmm…).  The agents then began questioning the defendant without reading him his Miranda rights.  The defendant admitted that he had been “sexting” the victim and he described communications he had been having with other minor females.

At trial, the judge granted the defense motion to suppress the defendant’s statements made to the officers during this interrogation.  The trial judge ruled that even though the officers told the defendant that the interrogation was “non-custodial,” the facts of the case proved otherwise.

On appeal, the 5th Circuit affirmed the trial court and held that the defendant was subjected to a custodial interrogation when the agents questioned him in his home.  As a result, the incriminating statements made by the defendant were properly suppressed.

A suspect is in custody for Miranda purposes when placed under formal arrest or when a there is a restraint on his movement to the degree associated with a formal arrest, even when there is no arrest.  The key question is under the circumstances, would a reasonable person have felt he was at liberty to terminate the interrogation and leave.  Here, the court said no.  First, fourteen agents entered the defendant’s home, in the early morning, without his consent.  Second, although the defendant was free to use the bathroom or get a snack, when he did, he was followed by the agents and closely monitored.  Third, although the defendant was allowed to use a telephone to call his brother, the agents had him position the phone so they could listen to the conversation.  This indicated the agents’ control over the defendant while implying that he had no privacy.  While the agents told the defendant the interview was “non-custodial,” such a statement made to a reasonable lay-person is not the same as telling him that he can terminate the interrogation and leave. Also, such a statement, made in a person’s home does not have the same effect as if the agents had offered to leave at any time upon request.

Overzealous agents and officers always make for good caselaw.

Remain Silent

The Booking-Question Exception: Another Reason to Shut Up

By | Miranda

Remain SilentAlford v. State – (Tex. Crim. App.) Feb. 8, 2012

Cecil Edward Alford was charged with evading arrest and detention.  While being transported to jail, Officers noticed that Mr. Alford was squirming around in the back seat.  Once at the jail, officers got Alford out of the car and searched the back seat.  As was procedure, they had searched the back seat of the squad car before their shift started to confirm that there were no items in the back seat.  After searching the back seat of the squad car following Mr. Alford’s transport to jail, officers located a clear plastic bag with pills inside and, directly under the bag, a computer flash drive (“thumb” drive).  As the jailers were booking Alford in, one of the officers took the thumb drive and held it up to Mr. Alford asking what it was.  The officer then asked, “Is it yours?” Alford claimed that it was.  At the time the jailer asked the question, Alford had not been advised of his Miranda rights.

The legal question arising from this situation is whether Alford’s admission that he owned the flash drive could be used against him at his trial.

The Court of Criminal Appeals first analyzed this case by addressing custodial interrogation and the “booking-question exception” to Miranda.  The Court recognized that questions “normally attendant to arrest and custody” or “routine booking questions” are exempt from Miranda. See South Dakota v. Neville, 459 U.S. 553 (1983); Pennsylvania v. Muniz, 496 U.S. 582 (1990).  The CCA noted that Mr. Alford’s case hinged on whether the question that the officer asked him that night was reasonably related to administrative concerns or if it was a question designed to elicit incriminatory admissions.

The defense presented case law supporting the contention that a question does not necessarily fall within the booking-question exception to Miranda simply because the question was asked during the booking process.  Specifically, the defense cited a footnote at the end of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Muniz that said, “recognizing a ‘booking exception’ to [Miranda] does not mean, of course, that any question asked during the booking process falls within that exception.  Without obtaining a waiver of the suspect’s [Miranda] rights, the police may not ask questions, even during booking, that are designed to elicit incriminatory admissions.” Id at 602, n. 14 (Brennan, J., plurality op.)

The CCA conceded that case law actually supported both the State and the appellant in this case.  Ultimately though, the Court held that the booking-question exception applies when the question reasonably relates to a legitimate administrative concern regardless of whether officer should have known that it might elicit an incriminatory admission.  The Court held that the Officer’s question in Alford’s case had the legitimate interest of identification and storage of an inmate’s property and that the questions regarding the thumb drive did fall within the booking exception to Miranda.

Essentially, the court decided that the relationship between the officer and Alford was not the determining factor.  Even though the Officer that asked Alford the questions was primarily responsible for the investigation, the Court still said that his question at the jail was just a booking question.  To me, this case does not provide any clarity to the booking-question exception to Miranda.  In any case, once a suspect is arrested, an officer could claim his questions are for booking purposes only, even when those questions are eliciting incriminatory admissions – and even if those questions are being asked while still in the field or at the scene.

This case just serves to reinforce what I’ve always advised folks – DO NOT SAY ANYTHING TO THE POLICE.  Of course, there are times when talking with a police officer cannot hurt, but if you are under arrest, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING, DO NOT EVEN NOD YOUR HEAD, until you have been provided an attorney.  If you must say something, say this:  “I request an attorney and will not answer any questions until I have been provided an attorney.”

Right to an attorney in Fort Worth, Texas

Lost in Translation: A Defendant’s Right to Counsel

By | Miranda, Right to Counsel

Right to an attorney in Fort Worth, TexasUnder the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, a criminal suspect is guaranteed the right to counsel.  But there’s a difference between what the two amendments provide.  The Fifth Amendment right to counsel was created by the Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona, where the Court held that a person has the right to have counsel present during custodial interrogation (interrogation counsel).  The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the assistance of counsel for his defense at trial (trial counsel).

Over the past four decades, the jurisprudence concerning the Fifth Amendment right to counsel during police interrogation (interrogation counsel) and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel at all critical stages of criminal proceedings (trial counsel) had become intertwined in complex and confusing ways. It was increasingly difficult for courts to determine which right can be invoked when and whether invocation of the right to counsel under one amendment invoked the right to counsel under the other amendment.

Pecina v. State, a recent Texas Court of Criminal Appeals case, illustrates the confusion that existed between the two rights to counsel.  In Pecina, Arlington Police officers arrested the defendant for the murder of his wife and took him to the hospital rather than the jail because he had suffered significant stab wounds (allegedly self-inflicted).  Because Mr. Pecina could not be transported to see a magistrate within 48 hours as required by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the police officers brought a magistrate to him.  A bilingual magistrate.  The magistrate advised Mr. Pecina (in Spanish) of his Article 15.17 rights including, inter alia, the right to have an attorney present throughout the criminal trial process (i.e. trial counsel – 6th Amendment).

“After reading appellant his rights, [the magistrate] asked if he wanted a court-appointed attorney.  And he stated that he did.” She then asked Mr. Pecina if he “still wanted to talk to [the detectives]?” He said that he did.  The magistrate (as she later testified) believed that, when Mr. Pecina asked for counsel, he was asking for trial counsel, not interrogation counsel.  The two detectives then entered the hospital room and issued Mr. Pecina his Miranda warnings (in Spanish).  Mr. Pecina waived his Miranda rights, did not request an attorney, and gave a statement.  He was later convicted for murder after his statements to the detectives were admitted against him at trial.

These facts raise important questions:

When Mr. Pecina told the magistrate that he wanted a court-appointed attorney, did he invoke his rights under both the 5th and 6th Amendments? Should the police have refrained from initiating further questioning until he had an attorney present?

Prior to the 2009 Supreme Court decision in Montejo v. Louisiana, 556 U.S. 778, the controlling case regarding the two intertwining rights to counsel was Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625 (1986). “In Michigan v. Jackson, the Supreme Court had held that ‘if police initiate interrogation after a defendant’s assertion, at an arraignment or similar proceeding, of his right to counsel, any waiver of the defendant’s right to counsel for that police-initiated interrogation is invalid.’”

Under Michigan v. Jackson, Mr. Pecina’s assertion of his right to counsel that he made to the magistrate in the hospital would have been enough to preclude the police from initiating further interrogation. Or, if the police did later initiate interrogation, any statement Mr. Pecina made should have been suppressed at trial.

But all of that changed under Montejo in 2009. In Montejo, the Supreme Court disentangled the right to interrogation counsel with the right to trial counsel.

Distilled to its essence, Montejo means that a defendant’s invocation of his right to counsel at his Article 15.17 hearing says nothing about his possible invocation of his right to counsel during later police-initiated custodial interrogation. The magistration hearing is not an interrogation event.

Analyzing the Pecina case in the wake of Montejo, the CCA explained that “[i]n this case, there were two separate events: magistration followed by a custodial interrogation.” The CCA then held that “under the totality of the circumstances…an objective and reasonable police officer, conducting a custodial interrogation would conclude that appellant had voluntarily waived both his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights to counsel for the purposes of custodial questioning.”

The CCA went further to clarify the new rule, explaining that under the Supreme Court decisions in Montejo, Miranda, Edwards, and Minnick, a suspect’s Fifth Amendment rights (to interrogation counsel) are only triggered “AFTER THE POLICE INFORM HIM OF HIS RIGHT TO COUNSEL AT THE BEGINNING OF A CUSTODIAL INTERROGATION.” Emphasis added.  Ultimately, the CCA held that the magistration hearing (in which Mr. Pecina requested an attorney) did not trigger any Fifth Amendment right concerning custodial interrogation; that, the CCA explained, was done by the detectives at the beginning of their interrogation.

PRACTICE NOTE: A criminal defendant/suspect must now request an attorney, unequivocally, at every stage of the criminal justice process.  Interrogation.  Arraignment.  Magistration.  Every stage.  This is a significant change in Texas criminal procedure.

Judge Alcala joined the majority opinion but wrote a separate concurring opinion, in which she notes:

The magistrate’s interpretation (that Mr. Pecina only requested trial counsel and not interrogation counsel) misses the whole point of the warning, which is the right to have an attorney present ‘during any interview with peace officers.’ I conclude that the record indisputably shows that appellant’s request for an attorney was a request to have an attorney present during interrogation, as well as during court proceedings. …Appellant’s request for an attorney was, at most, a pre-invocation of his right to counsel.

Judge Alcala believes that the “Legislature could easily fix [the confusion between the two rights to counsel] by adding one sentence to the Article 15.17 admonishments: ‘If you desire to have an attorney present during police interrogation, you must make that request at the time of the police questioning.’”

Judge Price dissented, opining that “[a]ny reasonably objective viewer would conclude from the peculiar facts of this case that [the magistrate] was acting as a de facto agent of the interrogating detectives.” He went further:

That the invocation [of Mr. Pecina’s rights] also occurred during a simultaneous “magistration,” while accurate, does not detract from its essential character for Fifth Amendment purposes. And once a suspect has made it clear that he desires the assistance of counsel in coping with police interrogation, we are not entitled to look at his subsequent responses to official entreaties “to determine in retrospect whether the suspect really meant it when he unequivocally invoked his right to counsel.”

Judge Price believes that Mr. Pecina’s Fifth Amendment right to interrogation counsel was violated.  I agree.

Right to a lawyer

An Ambiguous Request is No Request at All

By | Miranda, Right to Counsel

Right to a lawyerIn a recent case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Federal), the court considered whether police interrogation of a suspect violated the suspect’s constitutional right to an attorney when the suspect voluntarily continued the conversation with the officers.

United States v. Carillo – While the defendant was in jail on a parole violation, officers went to interview him about his involvement in a drug distribution conspiracy.  After being read his Miranda rights, the defendant invoked his right not to be questioned without an attorney present.  The officers stopped talking to him and left.  The next day the defendant told jailers that he wished to speak to the officers from the day before.  The officers returned to the jail, advised him of his Miranda rights, which then led to a discussion about the defendant’s right to an attorney.  The defendant made three comments during this time.  He told the officers, “I wish I had a lawyer right here,” “I wanted to see if we could push this thing to where I could get my lawyer,” and “I wanted to see if you could work with me and push this deal to where I can get a lawyer and just sit down and talk about it.” After one of the officers told the defendant that he would get an attorney at his arraignment, the defendant asked the officer what would happen if he agreed to talk to the officer now.  The kind and helpful officer told the defendant that he would just be cooperating and helping himself and once he got into the federal system he would get an attorney.  Hearing those words of encouragement, the defendant agreed to talk to the officers and (of course) made several incriminating statements, which led to his conviction.

On appeal, the appellant contended that his confession should have been suppressed because it was obtained in violation of his constitutional right not to be interrogated while in police custody without an attorney present, under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).

The 5th Circuit recognized that the defendant’s three comments, when viewed separately, appeared to indicate that he was invoking his right to counsel.  However, the Court held that when considering the entire context in which the defendant made the comments, a reasonable police officer would not have understood him to be saying that he wanted to stop talking with the police without an attorney present.  The court held that the defendant’s comments to the officers were ambiguous at best.  They expressed the defendant’s preference to have an attorney present, however, the fact that he kept talking to the officers indicated that he also wished to keep the interview going and not to end it by invoking his right to counsel.  The defendant re-initiated communication with the officers after he ended the interview the day before by invoking his right to counsel, so he was clearly aware of how he could end the interview.  The defendant was merely weighing the pros and cons of talking to the officers without an attorney present which he eventually decided to do.