Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1970 NO. 2 >

(1) The provisions of the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution are applicable to any detention of a person for investigation of suspected criminal conduct irrespective of whether or not the detention amounts to an arrest or not; however, such a temporary detention is not a violation of the 4th Amendment if the officers acted upon specific and articulable facts which would "warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief that the action taken was appropriate"; in other words, the officers may act on something less than "probable cause," but they may not act simply on the basis of good faith based upon nothing more substantial than "inarticulate hunches." (2) A police officer who has temporarily detained a person for investigation of suspected criminal conduct without making a formal arrest is not required to warn the detained person of his constitutional rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 486, 16 L.Ed. 2d 694, 86 S.Ct. 1602 (1966), until the initial suspicions which led the officer to make the "stop" are transformed into "probable cause" to believe the person confronted has committed an offense or until the suspect has a reasonable basis in fact to believe that he is under arrest (i.e., in custody of the police and not free to leave); at either of these points, the required warnings must be given in order to insure the admissibility in evidence of any incriminating statements thereafter made by the suspect.

AGO 1974 NO. 3 >

A person suspected of committing a crime must be warned of his constitutional rights as an individual under the rule of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 16 L.Ed. 2d 694, 86 S.Ct. 1602 (1966), before interrogation in those instances where, even though no formal arrest (with or without a warrant) has been made, the investigating officers have established in their minds a "probable cause" to believe that this person has committed a crime and have "focused in" on a further specific investigation of him on that basis.

AGO 1969 NO. 12 >

(1) The amendment contained in § 26, chapter 209, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., deleting the proviso in § 1, chapter 140, Laws of 1961 (RCW 41.20.085) under which certain police widows' pensions were to be reduced by the amount being received "under social security or any other pension grant," is applicable so as to prospectively eliminate this offset factor in the case of those widows who began receiving such pensions prior to the effective date of the 1969 amendment. (2) The two percent per year post-retirement pension increase which is provided for by § 35, chapter 209, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., is to be computed on the basis of the pension benefit payable on the effective date of the 1969 amendment rather than that which was payable at the time chapter 209, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., was passed by the legislature.

AGLO 1974 NO. 46 >

(1) A police officer may employ the services of a commercial towing truck to move a parked automobile from a highway under RCW 46.61.565. (2) In such a case, the tow truck operator will have a statutory lien against the owner of the automobile for payment of his charges, and will also have a contractual right to payment by the county or city which retained his services if the vehicle involved later turns out to have been abandoned and is not claimed by its owner.

AGO 1961 NO. 82 >

Where members of the police force of a first class city are paid a basic salary by virtue of the position held, plus an amount based upon longevity, such longevity pay is not to be considered in establishing the amount of pensions to be paid upon retirement under the provisions of § 1, chapter 191, Laws of 1961.

AGO 1956 NO. 293 >

Officers of the city of Auburn police force who were appointed on July 8, 1937, were "blanketed" into civil service as permanent employees in the positions they presently enjoy.