Many people who are accused of a crime ask our law firm if they can have their charges dismissed because the police didn’t advise them of their “Miranda rights”. The answer in most cases is no.
The “Miranda warnings” must be given by the police to a suspect who is in “custody” prior to the police questioning them about their possible involvement in criminal activity. The police are very clever as to how they get around the requirement to issue Miranda warnings while still finding a way to obtain statements from those accused of crimes.
The police will often call a possible suspect on the phone and speak to them. They do not have to read you Miranda rights over a phone conversation because you are not “in custody”. This means if you make the very bad mistake to speak to the police on the phone those statements can be used against you in a court of law.
The police will often come to your house and ask to speak to you in your home. They will tell you that you are not under arrest and then they will ask to speak to you. Anything you say to them in your home when you are not “under arrest” or “in custody” will likely be admissible against you court.
Finally, the police may have you come to the police station to speak to them. However, before questioning you they will tell you that you are “free to leave” anytime you wish. You might be in a small interrogation room but if the officers tell you that you are not under arrest and are free to go then they do not have to read you your Miranda rights.
In other cases, the police will arrest you for a crime and then they will take you into jail. They may decide not to read you any Miranda rights because they don’t question you. If they don’t question you then they do not have to read you your “Miranda rights”.
Finally, even if the police do question you when you are in custody and they violate your Miranda rights, your “remedy” is to ask the court to not allow your statements in evidence against you. In most cases this does not mean that the case has to be dismissed if the prosecution has sufficient other evidence that is unrelated to your statements to convince a jury of your guilt.
So the next time you are speaking to someone and they ask you if they can get their charges dismissed because they were not read their Miranda rights, the answer is likely NO. The most important thing you should learn from this blog is NEVER EVER EVER speak to the police. Not on the phone. Not in your home. Not in a police station. NEVER SPEAK TO THE POLICE. If you follow this simple rule you will stand a much better chance of prevailing in your criminal case.
Wallin & Klarich criminal defense lawyers have been defending clients for over 30 years. If you feel that your rights have been violated and you have a pending criminal case call us now, even if you already have an attorney. Call us at 888-280-6839. Your call to our law firm can be the difference between jail and freedom. We will be there when you call.