Over the years, one of the most common complaints and misconceptions I get surrounds the advisement of “Miranda Rights.” If you’ve watched any cop shows, you know what I’m talking about: “You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer…” A lot of my clients are under the mistaken belief that police have to advise a suspect of their rights under Miranda. Not true.
In a very brief nutshell, with lots of exceptions (talk to your lawyer!) the rule in Miranda holds that for police to obtain a lawful statement from someone during a custodial interrogation, they must first advise them of their rights. So:
- If you’re not in custody, it doesn’t apply.
- If you’re not interrogated (but just start running off at the mouth on your own), it doesn’t apply.
- If they don’t use your statement, because they have plenty of evidence they got without it, it doesn’t apply.
You can absolutely be arrested without being read Miranda rights. Sure, there might be departmental policies that may make it a problem for the officer, but that has nothing to do with your case and what evidence can be used against you.
In the end, I would rather you didn’t have to be read your rights at all, anyway.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. KNOW YOUR LAWYER.