Getting arrested is never easy. Even if you were arrested for a minor infraction, it is still a stressful process that can have you worried about your rights and how long you will be held. Many are under the assumption that if they were arrested and not read their Miranda rights that they can have the charges dropped. This is not the case. The charges can still be filed against the defendant, but there are some things that the prosecution will not be allowed to do, which we will discuss below.
What are Miranda Rights?
First, we should define what Miranda Rights are so that you understand your rights and what a police officer is supposed to read to you when placing you under arrest for any crime. During every arrest you must be read the following:
- The right to remain silent.
- If you say something, it can be used in a court of law against you.
- You can have a lawyer with you when questioned.
- If you do not have the financial means to hire a lawyer, a lawyer will be provided for your defense.
The Scenarios That Require Miranda Rights
The bottom line when it comes to Miranda Rights is that if evidence acquired through questioning is to be used in court, the suspect must have been read his or her Miranda rights. If the person is in custody in a police car, in the jail, in a public place, in his or her home, or in any other location, Miranda Rights must be read in order for questioning to occur.
If the subject has not been taken into custody and is asked questions, the answers provided to those questions can be used in a trial. This often leads to officers not placing subjects in custody so they can get the information they need during questioning, and then making the arrest.
Consequences of Failure to Administer Miranda Rights
The Miranda Rights are so important in a criminal case that there can be serious consequences when they are not read to a suspect placed in custody. For starters, anything that the subject says after being placed under arrest without being read the Miranda Rights can not be used in court as evidence. If you find yourself in custody and your Miranda Rights have not been read to you, it is important to keep quiet anyway. You do not want to risk incriminating yourself even though you know what you say can not be used in court.
Charges Will Not be Dropped
What you need to know in a situation such as this is that the charges filed against you will not be dropped simply because the officer failed to read you your Miranda Rights. Keep this in the back of your mind when in an arrest situation so that you do not make the mistake of thinking you will simply be released by the officer. The officer can still take you into custody and bring you to the police station even though he or she failed to read you your rights.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
When you are taken into custody, the police must read you your Miranda Rights. It is the law. If they fail to do so, it does not mean you must be released from custody. It only means that if they do not read you your rights, whatever you say can not be used against you in court. Make sure you protect yourself immediately by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled Miranda Rights cases in the past. Call the office of David Freidberg at 312-560-7100 to schedule a consultation about your case today so you can protect your rights.
(image courtesy of nicolas-barbier-garreau)