Top 6 Things To Know About Your Miranda Rights

Top 6 Things To Know About Your Miranda Rights

You have been recently arrested, written a citation, or questioned by police and NOT read your Miranda Rights. Does that matter? Can your case be dismissed or dropped due to this?

“I was not read my Miranda rights,” is a phase our criminal defense attorneys often hear when they meet with potential clients.

In order to understand the significance or even if it matters that your Miranda rights were not read one must first understand what Miranda rights are, when they apply to a criminal investigation, and when their omission from your arrest will help your case.

SIX THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MIRANDA RIGHTS

  1. Miranda rights are intended to protect your rights to refuse to answer self-incriminating questions.
  2. Miranda rights do not go into effect until after an arrest is made, the officer in most occasions is free to ask questions before an arrest.
  3. Miranda rights have to be read so you can understand them. If you do not understand English, most likely the rights must be translated to you.
  4. Miranda rights do not have to be given unless you are in custody and being questioned.
  5. If you are not read your Miranda rights, your case most likely can still be prosecuted.
  6. The consequences of not having your Miranda rights read are any statement you make cannot be used in court against you.

WHAT ARE MIRANDA RIGHTS?

“You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you…”

Maybe it is the many episodes of cops, the criminal drama movies, or the ‘Law & Order’ episodes are why it seems this statement is so widely recognized. Miranda rights were created in 1966 as a result of the US Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona. The Miranda rights are intended to protect a person’s Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer self-incriminating questions. The statement, or what is said by the police officer, will vary from the statement above and that is OK, so long as the message is fully conveyed to the suspect. The duty upon police officers is to make sure you understand your rights. Courts have commonly held in order for someone to understand the rights they must be read and translated into a persons language if they do not speak English.

WHEN MUST MIRANDA RIGHTS BE READ?

Miranda rights only have to be read to you if you are in custody and police are questioning you. This is more complicated than is sounds, attorneys often argue in court about if a person was ‘in custody’ and if they were being questioned. To trigger Miranda rights a person first must be “in custody.”

The test to determine if someone is in custody examines the question “is the person free to leave”?  This question is only answered by a fact by fact analysis, however there are some common places where courts have found Miranda rights are not triggered because a person is NOT in custody. Courts have often found a person is not in custody if they have been pulled over and are being questioned before an arrest or charge has taken place on the side of a road. In addition, courts have held if a person goes and voluntarily speaks with police, they are not in custody.

In the alternative, there are times when courts have consistently held that a person is ‘in custody’. A few of those examples are when a person has been put in handcuffs, after police have made an arrest and taken a person to an interrogation room, or if a person is in the back of a police car arrested. There is no bright line to say a person was or was not in custody, but rather it is evaluated by each individual situation.

The test to determine if a person is being questioned is also examined on a fact by fact basis. Courts have often found if a person is being asked questions by an officer and not voluntarily giving the information the person is being questioned. An example of a person not being questioned is when a person is in the back of a police car headed down to jail and the person begins talking to an officer even after being arrested .

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES IF YOUR MIRANDA RIGHTS AREN’T READ?

If an officer of the law forgets to read Miranda rights to a suspect or arrestee when the officer should have is not an automatic dismissal of one’s case.

However, the consequences of a police officer not reading the Miranda rights to a person requires suppression of a person’s statements. Anything a person says after not being Mirandized can’t be used in court. Therefore, say a person was arrested and taken into an interrogation room to meet with police. The police forgot to read the defendant’s Miranda rights. A person then confesses to a crime, the confession would not be allowed to be used in court because no Miranda rights were not read.

IF YOU ARE FACING A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OR HAVE BEEN ARRESTED OR CHARGED WITH A CRIME CALL ONE OF OUR ATTORNEY’S. THINGS YOU SAY OR DIDN’T SAY TO THE POLICE CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR CASE. MIRANDA WARNINGS PLAY A BIG ROLE IN DETERMINING IF THESE STATEMENTS CAN BE — USED AGAINST YOU.

Call Jetton & Meredith today to Speak with Mr. Jetton about your criminal case.

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