Anybody that has watched a television show or movie with police offers is familiar with Miranda warnings. They are the warnings that advise an individual that they have the right to remain silent and that any statements made by them can be used against them in court. Even though Miranda warnings have been around for more than 50 years, people are still confused about when they are required to be read and what exactly the warnings cover.
Is Miranda Required?
One of the many misconceptions perpetrated by television shows is that Miranda warnings are required before a police officer can arrest someone. This is incorrect. An officer can arrest you and charge you with a crime without ever reading you your Miranda warnings. Miranda warnings are only required if a police officer is going to question you about a case and you are in custody. Both of those requirements must be met, otherwise no warnings are required.
When am I considered in-custody for Miranda purposes?
For purposes of Miranda, someone is considered in-custody when someone’s freedom of movement is restricted. This does not require an officer to place someone under arrest or even utter the words “You’re under arrest!” However, being in-custody does not include preliminary investigations performed by police officers (i.e. being detained during a traffic stop).
What does interrogation mean?
As was previously noted, interrogation, or questioning regarding a case, is required to trigger Miranda protections. Courts have ruled that questioning can include direct questions regarding an incident, or statements designed to illicit a response. However, some statement or questioning is required from law enforcement before Miranda warnings are required.
What happens if Miranda has been violated?
Whether or not there has been a Miranda violation is determined by the court. If the court determines that a violation occurred, the remedy in most circumstances is to suppress any statements made after the violation occurred. Additionally, any evidence obtained solely as a result of the statements would be considered fruit of the poisonous tree and inadmissible. In some cases, this means that the entire case could be thrown out. In others, it simply weakens the State’s case.
Remaining silent and refusing to talk to police officers is always your best bet. However, Miranda warning situations are extremely complex. It is important to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense, please call 480-331-7568 for your no obligation, free consultation to make sure your rights are protected.Back to Blogs