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Dunaway v. New York

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Title: Dunaway v. New York  
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Subject: Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, List of United States Supreme Court cases, volume 442
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Dunaway v. New York

Dunaway v. New York
Supreme Court of the United States
Full case name Dunaway v. New York
Citations 442

Dunaway v. New York, 442 U.S. 200 (1979), was a United States Supreme Court case that concerned the appropriate methods for law enforcement officers to elicit the voluntary cooperation of a person of interest where the present state of evidence may fall short of probable cause for arrest. A Dunaway warning may take a form similar to the following:

Mr. Smith, we'd like for you to come with us in our car to the precinct house to discuss what happened here today. You're not under arrest, and you don't have to come with us if you don't want to. You're free to walk away from here at this time without saying anything more if you wish to do so.

The idea is to protect the officer from allegations of false arrest. NB: if the person chooses to leave the area, the officer will note this election in his investigative documentation of the incident. If/when the case later develops to a point where the person can be brought in for questioning, the matter of the person's leaving the area will be among the topics covered (and rather thoroughly) in the subsequent interrogation.

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