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Miranda Rights Evaluations

Expert Miranda Rights Psychological Evaluations

PA-Logo-FINAL-4PRINT-1Dr. Steven Gaskell at Psycholegal Assessments, Inc. performs forensic psychological examinations of whether an individual had a knowing and intelligent waiver of their Miranda Rights, as well as the voluntariness of such a waiver.  There are also occasions where persons charged with a crime provide false confessions to the police.  Psychological testing is available in for Miranda Rights issues including, but not limited to, the Gudjonsson Scales.  Psycholegal Assessments, Inc. also performs a wide variety of Forensic Psychology Evaluations.

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Confessions and other self-incriminating statements to law enforcement officials are a strong source of evidence against a defendant at a trial.  Confessions are produced in about 50% of criminal cases.  It has been shown that suspects who provide self-incriminating statements are 26% more likely to be found guilty and convicted (Leo, 2006).   Miranda v. Arizona (1966) described a defendant’s confession as “the most compelling possible evidence of guilt.”  The Supreme Court ruled in the Miranda case that any statement made in custodial police interrogation would be presumed inadmissible unless the police provided four warnings (some jurisdictions added a fifth) to remind the defendant of his or her constitutional rights.
An individual cannot waive his or her Miranda rights unless they are able to knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily do so.  “Knowingly” refers to an individual’s ability to understand the language in which the Miranda rights were read or written. “Intelligently” refers to the individual’s ability to comprehend the meaning of the warning.  “Voluntarily” means that the individual waived his or her rights without being coerced by the police to do so.  When there is a question that the aforementioned criteria may not be met, the court or the defense may request a psychological evaluation regarding the defendant’s competency to waive his or her Miranda rights.  An evaluation of an individual’s competency to waive his or her Miranda rights includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Review of relevant records and history
  • Review of written, video, or audio records regarding the defendant’s waiver of Miranda rights and details of the police interrogation
  • Clinical interview of the defendant
  • Defendant’s recollection of Miranda rights waiver and assessment of their competency to waive their Miranda rights
  • Collateral interviews
  • Psychological testing including cognitive measures, personality instruments, and measures of interrogative suggestibility
  • Forensic psychological testing using the Instruments for Assessing Understanding and Appreciation of Miranda Rights (widely accepted and frequently recommended for use as a standard of practice in these evaluations)
  • Assessment of malingering and deception
  • Diagnostic impressions
  • Summary of Findings and Opinions
Dr. Steven Gaskell Miranda Rights Issues and Confession Issues Expert Witness

Dr. Steven Gaskell Miranda Rights and Confession Issues Expert Witness

Miranda Rights Landmark Cases

Berghuis v. Thompkins (2010)

The ruling in this case requires suspects to explicitly state that they wish to invoke their Miranda rights.  This ruling further raises the importance of assuring that individual defendants are able to make such a waiver.

Office Locations

Illinois – Chicago Area – Naperville, Illinois

Psycholegal Assessments, Inc.
2135 City Gate Lane, Suite 300
Naperville, Illinois 60563

Office Phone: 630-780-1085
Cell Phone : 630-903-9193
Email :

Georgia – Atlanta – Buckhead office

Psycholegal Assessments, Inc.
3355 Lenox Road, Suite 750
Atlanta, GA 30326

Office Phone: 404-504-7039
Cell Phone : 630-903-9193
Email :

Schedule appointments now, travel fees to and from Georgia are waived until further notice. Contact Us Now