I Was Arrested For a Crime But Wasn’t Read My Miranda Rights. What Should I Do?

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I Was Arrested For a Crime But Wasn’t Read My Miranda Rights. What Should I Do?

Miranda rights are so ubiquitous that nearly everyone knows the first few lines, if not the entire shpiel. “You have the right to remain silent” is a phrase heard on virtually every police procedural show. Even little kids who are pretending to be cops will repeat these words when pretending to arrest someone. But if you’ve been arrested by a real cop, it’s no laughing matter. This is particularly true if you were arrested without being read your rights. What are Miranda rights, and what happens if you’re arrested without having them read to you? Each case is different and only a qualified criminal defense attorney can give you accurate information for your situation, but here are some basics.

What Has to Be Included?

Contrary to popular belief, Miranda rights don’t have to be read verbatim, or word for word. Instead, they simply have to convey four main pieces of information. One, they have to tell you that you have the right to remain silent, or not speak. Secondly, you must be advised that anything you say can be used against you when you get to court. Thirdly, you have to be told that you have a legal right to a lawyer or attorney. And finally, you have to be told that an attorney will be made available to you for free if you can’t afford one. If any one of those components is missing, your Miranda rights were not adequately read to you.

When Do They Have to Be Read?

So when do you have to be read your rights? When you’re pulled over? When you’re asked to get out of your car? Only if you’re in handcuffs? This gets a little tricky. Technically, any time you’re detained or “in custody” you have to be read your rights. It doesn’t matter if you’re standing on the side of the road, sitting in a coffee shop, or at the police station, if the officer you’re speaking with considers you to be in custody, then you have to be read your rights. That being said, many officers want to make you believe you’re in custody when you’re not. Always ask if you are in custody or if you’re free to go. If you’re free to go, then go, and don’t answer any questions until you have an attorney present.

Even If You’re Not in Custody…

That being said, you can have incriminating statements used against you even if you made those statements when you weren’t in custody. Again, the law is tricky. You should assume that anything you say to an officer is being recorded somehow and will be brought up later. Other than providing your ID, license, and registration and other routine pieces of information, you should politely refuse to answer any questions until you have an attorney present. Never offer up information that wasn’t asked for, either. Your words can easily be twisted and presented as evidence against you, even if you were just trying to answer their questions or explain a situation.

If Your Rights Aren’t Read

Get a criminal defense attorney any time you’re arrested or questioned. However, it’s exceptionally important to get a criminal defense attorney if your rights weren’t read to you. You won’t be entirely off the hook, but large parts of what you said may be inadmissible in court if you weren’t properly read your rights. Your attorney can help you craft the best defense possible so you can obtain the most beneficial and fair outcome.

If your rights aren’t read to you, any statements or pieces of evidence resulting from those statements is likely to be deemed inadmissible in court. You can help your case greatly by hiring an experienced, qualified criminal defense attorney who can advocate for you and your rights in court. Never go it alone when it comes to the legal system. Your freedom and livelihood can only defended through proper legal representation. Get a consultation and take the first step towards protecting your freedom and your future.

 

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