You’ve heard the Miranda warning a hundred times on television and in movies so you may think you know what it’s all about. You have the right to remain silent; you have the right to an attorney, etc. But there some common misconceptions about Miranda warnings of which the average person is not aware. Let’s take a look at some common misunderstandings and clear them up.
A MIRANDA WARNING SHOULD BE GIVEN IMMEDIATELY UPON ARREST.
Only in the movies. Unless the police begin interrogating you immediately upon arrest (which is rare), it’s not necessary for the police to give you a Miranda warning. Miranda warnings are to be given before any questioning of a person in custody.
A PERSON QUESTIONED BY THE POLICE REGARDING A CASE COULD NOT HAVE THEIR COMMENTS USED AGAINST THEM UNLESS THEY WERE MIRANDIZED.
If you haven’t been placed in police custody and the police are questioning you, your statements can be used against you regardless of whether you were read your Miranda rights or not. Any comments you make when you are not under arrest can be used against you. That’s why it’s best not to make any comments to the police unless your lawyer is present.
THE POLICE ARE REQUIRED TO WAIT FOR A LAWYER TO ARRIVE TO CONTINUE THE INTERROGATION AFTER THE MIRANDA WARNING HAS BEEN GIVEN.
You have the right to a lawyer but only if you request one. The police have no obligation to make sure that you have a lawyer present during the interrogation if you have never asked for a lawyer. It is your responsibility to make sure you ask for a lawyer and the minute you do ask for a lawyer, the police cannot continue asking you questions.
IF YOU WEREN’T MIRANDIZED THEN YOUR CASE IS THROWN OUT COMPLETELY
If you weren’t read your Miranda rights prior to the police interrogating you then the statements you made during the interrogation may not be admissible in court. This does not necessarily mean that your entire case will be thrown out. The police may have other evidence that you committed the crime and can rely on that evidence to criminally prosecute you.
MIRANDA RIGHTS APPLY IN EVERY CASE.
Not every case is going to require that your Miranda rights be read to you. In a DUI case, for instance, the police don’t necessarily need a statement from you in order to prosecute. The officer has witnessed you driving your car, and the Breathalyzer results show that you are intoxicated. You can be arrested for DUI and never once be interrogated by the police. In fact, police are taught not to Mirandize in a DUI case.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL LAWYER.
If you find yourself under arrest and need someone on your side, call the experienced lawyers at Alpert Schreyer Poe right away. You can reach us online or call (301) 321-7277 for a free consultation.