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Beckwith v. United States

United States Supreme Court
425 U.S. 341 (1976)


Beckwith (defendant) was suspected of criminal tax fraud by the Internal Revenue Service. The service dispatched investigative agents to meet Beckwith at his home. Prior to interviewing Beckwith, the agents informed him of his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and his right to be represented by an attorney. Beckwith consented to the interview. After the interview, Beckwith and the agents traveled separately to Beckwith’s place of employment in order for the agents to inspect certain documents. The agents informed Beckwith that he was not legally obligated to provide the documents voluntarily. Beckwith consented to provide the documents. Beckwith was convicted of tax crimes in the federal district court. Beckwith appealed and the appellate court upheld the conviction. Beckwith petitioned the Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)

Concurrence (Marshall, J.)

Dissent (Brennan, J.)

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