Do you have questions about police officers reading Miranda Rights? Watch this video, then call Smith & Green Attorneys at Law today.
Do the police need to read me my Miranda Rights?
We get calls from time to time about folks who have been arrested, and either they’ve been charged with a crime or subsequent after their arrest and they feel like they were not read their rights appropriately. There is a case, Miranda v. Arizona, actually, that set out a framework, a constitutional framework, regarding the rights that a person has. Here is the basic framework of when a police officer is required to read you your rights. Two things, it’s call custodial interrogation, custodial interrogation.
If you are in custody— that means if you reasonably feel like you are not free to leave or they have indicated to you that you are not free to leave and the police officer wants to interrogate you, ask you questions specifically about the charges that you are — then under the constitution, they are required to read you your Miranda rights. Again, there has to be two things, custodial interrogation. They have to reasonably feel like you’re not free to leave or being told that you aren’t free to leave.
Here’s an example of what not free to leave looks like. You’re in handcuffs. You’re in the back of a police car. You’ve been hauled downtown to the police station. The police officer has told you you’re not going anywhere. You’re backed in and you can’t get in your car and leave. There are a number of factors that, if Miranda was ever challenged, a court will look at. Did this person reasonably believe that they weren’t free to leave?
Then there’s interrogation, asking you questions that they know will solicit information about the charges or the crime for which you could potentially be charged with. Then at that point, the police officer should have read you your Miranda rights, and you would have a Miranda challenge to that. A successful Miranda challenge would result in whatever those statements are that you gave to that police office being excluded from the case, and they could not use those statements against you. This doesn’t mean that they can’t proceed with the charge, but it does mean that they can’t use those statements against you, those statements would be excluded.
There are some instances where the statements are not Miranda, and that’s where you have to be smart. This isn’t to train you how to be a smart criminal but to make you aware of your rights. You have to be careful because the police oftentimes would do small talk with you before they place you in custody or cause you to feel like you’re not free to leave.
There are also statements that are not protected by Miranda. Let’s say you’re in the back of a police car, you’re in custody, but the police officer isn’t asking you any questions, and you just start talking. “I had one too many beers. I didn’t mean to kill her. She slapped me first”, and so on. All of that falls outside of Miranda. Best thing you can do is be quiet. You have the right to remain silent. Exercise that right.
You’ve got to be very careful about this because any of those statements could be used against you, and some of those statements are outside of Miranda. You want to be careful. If you feel like your Miranda rights have been violated, there are constitutional provisions to protect you. You’re going to need to talk to an experienced attorney. Call our office. Call some other competent attorney if need be, but we’re more than willing to help you address if you feel like your Miranda rights have been violated.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a criminal defense case and have questions about Miranda Rights? Contact experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorneys at Smith & Green today for a legal consultation.
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