For whatever reason, you’ve been arrested and you’re facing serious charges. Quite naturally, your mind is focused on the future. Your first question is, “Can this case be dismissed because I wasn’t given my Miranda rights?”
Your Miranda rights are designed to protect your Fifth Amendment rights
Most people have, at minimum, a passing familiarity with their Miranda rights via movies and television. They are designed to make people aware that they have legal protections against coercive measures by the authorities.
That does not mean, however, that they know how the Miranda warning works. The police are only required to give you the Miranda warning when you are both:
- In police custody (meaning that you are not free to leave)
- Under interrogation (meaning that you are being actively questioned about a possible crime or some other issue)
Most people believe that the police have to give them the Miranda warning right at the moment of arrest, and that simply is not true.
If the police caught you red-handed, for example, they may arrest you — but they’re still free to take note of anything you voluntarily admit or say while you’re sitting in the back of the cruiser. Unless they decide to interrogate you, you may be booked and charged without ever hearing your Miranda warning.
Nor will your case likely be thrown out if your Miranda rights were given in a slightly flawed manner. As long as the basic points were explained to you about your right to remain silent, your right to an attorney (even if you cannot afford to hire your own) and the fact that anything you say can be used against you in court, that’s enough for the warning to be legitimate.
If you’re facing criminal charges, get help
The outcome of a criminal case usually depends on the quality of the representation you have. Speak to an experienced defense attorney today about your options.