What If I Was Not Read My Miranda Rights?

214-402-4364-Writ Bond Hotline
By Bo Kalabus
Office: 972-562-7549

By far, the vast majority of questions I hear when I am talking to someone that has been charged with a crime concern Miranda rights. Or more specifically–“What if the police did not read me my rights?” As you can imagine, the answer varies with every factual situation and how the criminal investigation progressed. There are certain procedures that police officers are supposed to follow regarding Miranda rights. Below are some commonly asked questions regarding Miranda rights along with the when and how those rights are triggered:

Q. At what point are police supposed to read Miranda rights to an individual?

A. After a person has been officially taken into custody (detained by police), but before any interrogation takes place, police must inform the individual of their right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning. A person is considered to be “in custody” anytime they are placed in an environment in which they do not believe they are free to leave. Example: Police can question witnesses at crime scenes without reading them their Miranda rights. If during the process, a witness implicates himself or herself in the crime during that questioning, their statements could be used against them later in court.

Q. Can a police officer question an individual without reading them their Miranda rights?

A. Yes. The Miranda warnings must be read only before questioning an individual who has been taken into custody.

Q. Can police arrest or detain an individual without reading them their Miranda rights?

A. Yes, but until the person has been informed of his or her Miranda rights, any statements made by them during interrogation may be ruled inadmissible in court.

Q. Does Miranda apply to all incriminating statements made to police?

A. No. Miranda does not apply to statements a person makes before they are arrested. Similarly, Miranda does not apply to statements made “spontaneously,” or to statements made after the Miranda warnings have been given.

Q. If you first say you don’t want a lawyer, can you still demand one during questioning?

A. Yes. A person being questioned by the police can terminate the interrogation at any time by asking for an attorney and stating that he or she declines to answer further questions until an attorney is present. However, any statements made up until that point during the interrogation may be used in court.

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