Criminal Law Myth of the Month – Miranda

If the police don’t read me my Miranda rights, my case will get dismissed right? Unfortunately, in most circumstances, Miranda does not go that far.

Miranda onPolice Officerly applies to statements during a custodial interrogation, meaning the police do not have to read you your rights until you are in custody. See State v. Zamora, 220 Ariz. 63, 67 (App. 2009). In fact, even if the police fail to read you your rights, that will only mean that any incriminating statements you make after being in custody cannot be used against you—all statements made before are still fair game!

In most circumstances, this means that by the time police are required to read you your rights, they already have, or at least think they have, enough evidence to reasonably believe that a crime has been committed and that you committed it. Of course, once read your Miranda rights, you should never add fuel to the fire by failing to exercise your rights. Always, exercise your right to remain silent and ask to immediately speak to an attorney. It shocks me when I hear people, after being advised of their rights, they nonetheless continue to answer police questions – waiving rights.

Never assume a police will “let you off” easy in a criminal investigation by being honest and upfront with the police. That might happen in a civil case, but not in a criminal one. This doesn’t mean you have to lie, nor should you. Instead, simply say “I invoke my right to remain silent” or “I would like to remain silent.” At that point the police are not allowed to ask any more questions unless otherwise authorized.

Importantly, you still have rights even before the police tell you about them! That’s why even before you are arrested you should still request to speak to an attorney before you answer any questions.

If you are being questioned by the police or charged with a crime, you should immediately call attorney Matt Maerowitz at 602-912-5897. You have nothing to lose by calling, and the consultation is free.

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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2 Responses to Criminal Law Myth of the Month – Miranda

  1. Pingback: January Myth of the Month – I Don’t Need an Attorney | The Maerowitz Law Firm

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