Do the Police Have to Read Miranda Rights to Me, When I am Arrested?

Posted on January 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

The short answer is "No." The triggering event for Miranda
Rights is whether you are in custody or not. If you are not in custody, the
police can ask you whatever they want to ask, and if you give an incriminating
response, they can use it against you in a court of law. That's why the police
will sometimes conduct criminal investigations over the phone. A detective may
have a report of a crime and suspect that a specific person is involved. The
detective will then call the person and ask him if he knows anything about the
crime. Anything that the person says is not protected by Miranda Rights because
the person could easily hang up the phone and end the conversation. Clearly,
the person is not in custody. Even seemingly exculpatory comments are
dangerous. For example, a detective may suspect that a person was involved in
an vehicle break-in, but cannot even place that person at the scene of the
crime. The detective calls that person and says that he knows that the person
was involved. The person then says "I was there, but I didn't do anything–it
was some other guys." The person, now called a "suspect," has now placed
himself at the scene of the crime and the detective may be able to get a court
order for the person to submit to fingerprinting for comparison with finger
prints left on the vehicle. The phone conversation was unprotected.

The routine
gathering of background information is also not protected by Miranda. In other
words, the police can ask someone who is in custody, questions that are not
designed to lead to an incriminating response. Those answers are admissible in
court.

The best
advice to anyone who is being questioned by the police about a crime is to
invoke Miranda Rights and not answer any questions because the road to jail is
paved with good confessions.

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