The public safety exception to the Miranda doctrine allows law enforcement officers to conduct interrogations without informing an individual of his or her Miranda rights and to use the individual’s responses as evidence against him or her in court. This exception allows officers to conduct un-Mirandized interrogations when the officer’s questions are reasonably prompted by a concern for public safety. Initially intended to avoid further danger to the public, the public safety exception has exceeded its intended bounds, resulting in an infringement upon the public’s Fifth Amendment rights.

This Article explains the reasoning behind the Miranda decision and tracks the various exceptions that have been created since that decision. The Author then discusses how these exceptions, particularly the public safety exception, have slowly eroded the constitutional protections of Miranda. The public safety exception, arising from the Supreme Court’s decision in New York v. Quarles, was intended to be a narrow exception distinguishing permissible “custodial questioning” from impermissible “investigatory questioning.” Since its creation, a number of circuits have expanded the public safety exception to include situations that involve no threat to public safety at all, representing a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment and a purposely narrow exception. The Author proposes a reverse Miranda warning that would allow officers to conduct custodial interrogation in the name of public safety, but would stop short of allowing the information obtained through these interrogations to be admissible at trial. By informing an individual that his or her answers to police questioning will not be admissible at trial, a reverse Miranda warning would still allow officers to perform public safety questioning while preserving the individual’s protection against selfincrimination, effectively balancing both the government’s and individual’s interests.