When are the Miranda warnings required?

If you have ever watched a police television show, then you are familiar with Miranda warnings. Even though Miranda warnings have been around for more than 50 years, people are still confused about when they are required to be read, and what exactly the warnings cover.

Is Miranda Required?

Remember custody and interrogation. One misconception often found on television shows is that Miranda warnings are required before a police officer can arrest someone. It is not required to be read every time an arrest is made. An officer can arrest you and charge you with a crime without ever reading you the Miranda warnings. Miranda warnings are only required if a police officer is going to question you about the case and you are in custody. Both of those requirements must be met, otherwise no warnings are required. This seems like a simple concept, but it is complex.

When am I considered in-custody for Miranda purposes?

In broad terms, someone is considered in custody when his or her freedom of movement is restricted. This does not require that an officer place someone under arrest or even utter the words you are under arrest. However, being in custody does not include preliminary detention such as being detained during a traffic stop. The custody part of this rule is hotly contested in court cases that concern the Miranda rule.

What does interrogation mean?

Interrogation, or questioning regarding a case, is required to trigger Miranda protections. Courts have ruled that questioning can include direct questions regarding an incident, or statements made by the officer that are designed to illicit a response. It is important to keep in mind that biographical questions (name, date of birth, address) are not considered interrogation and must be answered.

What happens if Miranda has been violated?

Whether or not there has been a Miranda violation is determined by the Judge generally in a motion to suppress hearing. If the Judge determines that a violation occurred, the remedy in most circumstances is to suppress any statements that were made after the violation occurred. Additionally, any evidence obtained solely as a result of the statements would be considered fruit of the poisonous tree and inadmissible. In some cases, this means that the entire case could be thrown out. In others, it simply weakens the State’s case.

If an officer reads you Miranda warnings, he or she is telling you that you are in custody and that the police are trying to build a case against you. Remaining silent and (asking for your lawyer) is always your best bet. In terms of a math equation think:

Miranda warnings= get larry now.com

Miranda warning violations are extremely complex. It is important to discuss your case with a criminal trial specialist to ensure that your rights are protected.

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