There are common misconceptions about when your Miranda rights need to be read. You may be surprised to learn that Miranda warnings actually have to do with being interrogated while in custody, not the arrest. If Miranda rights aren't read prior to you being questioned, that evidence can be thrown out in court. If you're wondering how Miranda rights may have affected your arrest, reach out to a knowledgeable attorney and they can explain your situation.
We've all watched television shows or movies where the cop of the week arrests their suspect and reads them their rights, “you have the right to remain silent,” et cetera. Clients ask me all the time, what happens if I'm not read my Miranda rights?
This question is actually based on a common misconception, that the Miranda rights have something to do with being arrested. They don't.
Your Miranda warnings have to do with being interrogated, not arrested. You can be arrested without being read those warnings immediately.
On the other hand, as soon as an officer starts interrogating you, you have to be advised that you have the right to remain silent. You don't have to answer any questions.
You also have to be advised that you have the right to speak to an attorney before questioning. And if you don't have an attorney in mind, the officers are required to find one for you.
If the Miranda rights aren't read to you prior to you being questioned, any of the questions that are asked and any of the answers you give can be thrown out of your case.
A skilled attorney will know how to determine whether or not your rights were read adequately or not. Oftentimes there's a video to consider, and sometimes if we're really lucky, even audio inside the police station.
If you don't understand your rights, as they're read to you, the officer should put you in touch with an attorney who can help explain them to you. If they don't, that can also be a reason for parts of your case to be suppressed or thrown out.
A skilled defense attorney will know what to look for and what to listen for to make sure that your rights were adequately read to you and preserved appropriately. If they weren't, they can go to bat for you to make sure that no evidence that was illegally obtained, ever gets admitted against you.