Skip to content
Name: People v. Buskirk
Case #: D054757
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 07/24/2009

Once a suspect has invoked his Miranda rights, expressing a desire for counsel, he is not subject to further interrogation; but rights can not be invoked anticipatorily – the authorities must be conducting an interrogation or an interrogation must be imminent. Police officers investigating a robbery went to a suspected residence where they encountered appellant. They recognized him from earlier contacts, knew he was on parole, and confirmed his connection to the residence and to a suspect vehicle. The officers then contacted appellant’s parole officer who authorized a parole search of the residence. Appellant was then arrested for a parole violation. When appellant asked about the basis for the violation, he was advised he would find out later, at which time appellant said, “Well, I want a lawyer.” The officers did not clarify what appellant meant and appellant continued to shout questions at them. At the station, appellant was advised of his Miranda rights and agreed to waive them. He was questioned about the robbery and eventually admitted his involvement. He later initiated a third contact with officers and again talked about the robbery. The appellate court agreed with the trial court finding that at the residence, appellant was not asking for a lawyer for the future but only for assistance in the field on the parole violation. Since there was no interrogation on the robbery at that point, appellant’s desire for an attorney was not viewed as a request for counsel on the robbery interrogation. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is offense specific and cannot be invoked once for all future prosecutions. (McNeil v. Wisconsin (1991) 501 U.S. 171.)