I Was Not Read My Miranda Rights: Now What?You don’t have to be a law student, and you certainly don’t have to be an attorney, to be familiar with “Miranda Rights.” If you’ve watched any episode of NCIS, 48 Hours, or even Locked Up, chances are you can recite the Miranda Rights at the snap of your fingers. That’s great, but there may be a significant problem if a police officer fails to recite them to you. Miranda Rights are read for your protection so that you do not incriminate yourself while in police custody. You see, you have a constitutional right not to incriminate yourself. If you’d like to know more about Miranda Rights in California and what it could mean for you if an officer forgot to read them to you, then keep reading.
When Must My Miranda Rights Be Read?
The police should read your Miranda Rights as soon as you’re in custody and their interrogation begins. To be “in police custody,” you should feel that you are not free to leave on your own free will. Usually, you are in police custody when you’re being arrested, in the backseat of a police vehicle, or at the police station. Interrogations begin as soon as an officer asks you questions that can be used against you for any offense.
Yet, just because you are in the presence of an officer or being questioned doesn’t mean that your Miranda Rights automatically trigger. A set of factors must be at play all at once. For example, if you are in the back of a police vehicle but not being questioned, the officer doesn’t need to read your Miranda Rights. If you are on a sidewalk or dining in a restaurant and an officer begins questioning you, the Judge or Jury may feel as though you were free to leave at any moment.
There are some gray areas. Courts in California have ruled that age, education, and other circumstances may play a role in whether you felt that you were free to leave on your own free will. The matter of whether the officer should have read your Miranda Rights at a particular time can be complex. Because of this, it is best to contact an experienced California Miranda Rights Attorney for legal advice, so call My Rights Law at (888) 702-8882 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Will My Charges Get Dropped Automatically?
Miranda Rights are meant to inform you of:
- Your right to remain silent,
- Your right to an attorney and that an attorney will be provided to you if you cannot afford one, and
- That anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
There are several instances where an officer doesn’t need to read your Miranda Rights. Let’s say you’re in police custody and being interrogated without having been read your Miranda Rights; ten minutes in, the officer does read them, but you waive your right to remain silent as you keep talking. Here, whatever you said after being read Miranda Rights will likely be admissible in court.
Bear in mind that most charges and cases are based on more than mere testimony. Other evidence, such as fingerprints, DNA, or witness testimony, may be enough to keep the charges pending regardless of whether the police read your Miranda Rights.
For more information about getting your charges dropped or getting your self-incriminating testimony ruled as inadmissible at trial, you should speak with an attorney right away.
Can What I Said Still Be Used Against Me?
Possibly. If you blurt something out, especially when you’re arguably not in custody or the interrogation hasn’t begun, there’s a strong likelihood your words will be admissible in court. Potentially, something you said will be used against you. If police read your Miranda Rights, and you continue talking, then you waive your right to remain silent. In that instance, anything that you said can be used against you in court. This is why, even if you’re innocent, it is best to remain silent and invoke your right to an attorney. Say, “I want an attorney.”
California Miranda Rights Violation Lawyer
If the police did not read your Miranda Rights, you might be able to erase some of your testimony. If you feel as though you have a case, call a lawyer right away. My Rights Law is focused on fighting for Californians’ rights in criminal cases. Our attorneys have provided meaningful legal assistance to those who have been unjustly charged with serious crimes. We can help you get through this challenging situation. We know how to get evidence against you thrown out on Miranda Rights violations. To learn more about how we can help you, call (888) 702-8882 or contact us online for a free consultation.