Before the police interrogate anyone who is in their custody, they have to give them the Miranda warning which is worded as follows:
“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. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
In some police departments in Indiana, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma and Alaska, they also add the following sentence:
“We have no way of giving you a lawyer, but one will be appointed for you, if you wish, if and when you go to court.”
When Do the Police Have to Read You Your Miranda Rights?
It’s important to remember that a person can, in fact, be arrested even if they haven’t been read their Miranda rights. The Miranda rights only have to be read to a person before they are interrogated by the police. The police do not have any right to interrogate you unless they have read you your rights.
And if they do ask you questions or begin an interrogation without Mirandizing you, then the case can be thrown out of court, although it is not necessary that this will happen.
So it’s necessary for you, as the defendant, to note whether you have been Mirandized or not. And if you have not, then that’s something you should definitely share with your lawyer.
How to Use Your Miranda Rights Before and During Interrogation
It’s always a good idea for anyone who has been arrested to wait for legal advice before making any type of statement. So you can just make use of your Miranda rights and tell the police that you want to be assigned a lawyer before you say anything. This will make sure that you don’t inadvertently incriminate yourself.
Just because you’ve waived your Miranda rights and started speaking to the police doesn’t mean that you have to continue doing so. You can invoke your Miranda rights at any time and decide that you want to consult a lawyer before saying anything more. In such cases, the law dictates that the police must stop their interrogation right away.
The Difference Between Evidence Gained Before and After an Arrest
Remember that Miranda rights only apply to any kind of statement that you give the police after you’ve been taken into custody and not before.
For example, if you were driving erratically on the road and you were pulled over, the policeman who pulled you over has the right to ask you some questions to determine whether or not you are under the influence of alcohol. They can do this without Mirandizing you.
They’ll look through your vehicle to see if there is any alcohol in it and whether there’s alcohol on your breath. They’ll also ask you to perform field sobriety tests.
While they’re doing all this, they’re still gathering evidence to determine whether you’re driving under the influence of alcohol. So during this time, they don’t have to Mirandize you. Mirandizing is only necessary once you have been arrested.
Which Cases Are Likely/Unlikely to Be Overturned Due to Lack of Mirandizing?
In the case of a DUI, a lot of evidence is collected before the Mirandizing takes place. The statement that the person makes while in police custody is not that important to the case.
So even if the person wasn’t Mirandized, there is a chance that enough evidence was collected against them before the arrest took place to make a case against them. In such cases, the case will probably not be overturned due to a failure to Mirandize.
However, there are other cases when the bulk of the evidence against the person arrested comes during questioning. For example, if you were accused of murdering someone and the police gathered their evidence against you while they were questioning you without Mirandizing you, then it’s likely that the case will be overturned in court.
Contact us to learn more about whether your case can be dismissed because your Miranda rights weren’t read.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.