Many times, potential new criminal defense clients begin our first conversation with the exclamation, “The police didn’t read me my rights!” and expect that the remedy for that omission on the part of the police will be a total dismissal of their case. Sorry.
Miranda Warnings come from a case called Miranda vs. Arizona which was ultimately decided in 1966. Miranda warnings ONLY deal with statements made to law enforcement while someone is in custody and responding to questions by law enforcement.
So, if law enforcement arrests you but does not question you about the crime you allegedly committed, while you are in custody…they don’t have to read you “your rights.” However, if the police have decided that there is enough probable cause to arrest you and don’t let you leave OR arrest you and begin to question you about your alleged involvement with the crime you will be/are charged with, Miranda Warnings MUST be read or told to you.
If they are not and you give incriminating statements against yourself, the remedy for that is to ask a judge to throw out the statements that you gave during “custodial interrogation” (not throw out the entire case). Here are Miranda Warnings as they exist today:
1. Before we ask you any questions, you must understand your rights.
2. You have the right to remain silent.
3. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.
4. You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions and to have him with you during questioning.
5. If you cannot afford a lawyer one will be appointed for you before questioning if you wish.
6. If you decide to answer questions now, without a lawyer present, you will still have the right to stop questioning at any time, until you talk to a lawyer.
7. Do you understand what I have read to you?
8. Having these rights in mind, do you wish to talk to me now?