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Can a charge be dismissed if the police did not read you your Miranda Rights?

Seattle, WA |

I was questioned and arrested for an assault on a person with whom I had a disagreement over finances. I did not assault him, but we had a loud argument. There were no witnesses and he accused me of assaulting him, and said that I put a cut on his face, which he had previously to our argument. I tried to expain to the Police what happened, but I was so upset, because I have never been in trouble before. I could not answer their questions properly, but I did tell the police that I was not the one who caused his cut on his face. They arrested me anyway, saying that I had no noticeable injuries. The police did not tell me about or give me my "Miranda Rights" during this whole ordeal. Can this charge aganist me be dismissed due to this fact?

Attorney Answers 6


Failure to give you your Miranda rights is an evidentiary issue, it may make it a lot harder for the prosecution to obtain a conviction against you, but it's not automatically mean the charges will be dropped.

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Miranda Warnings not being read is not like television. If they do not read you the Miranda Warning, it is possible that any confession you gave would not be admitted into evidence. It does not mean your charges will be dropped.

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The law requires the police to give a suspect "Miranda warnings" prior to questioning him when he is under arrest. Therefore if you were not under arrest when you were being questioned, then arguably the officer was not required to give you the warnings. Typically, the remedy for failing to give the warnings is suppression of the statement that was obtained in violation of the Miranda rule. in your case, it does not appear that would result in dismissal. A simple violation of the Miranda rule is not, by itself, grounds for dismissal if the prosecutor has other admissible evidence to establish a person committed the crime.

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Sorry. On television they always have Miranda rights read because it is a dramatic way to burn up time between commercials. They never have to read you your rights. Failure to do so when you are in custody may result in certain things you say not being admissible against you. It isn't clear whether you were in custody here.

See the links on Miranda rights below. Laws vary among states. I am a Wisconsin lawyer, not licensed to practice or give advice in Washington. I know of no state that dismisses cases because of lack of Miranda warnings. All states will dismiss if there is no admissible evidence of guilt.

You should be discussing this with your local criminal defense lawyer. You need one, now.

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--- Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin

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--- Talking to the Police - Advice from Lawyers and Police

--- Miranda Rights (and Wrongs)

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The remedy for the police obtaining evidence such as your verbal statements in violation of Miranda is suppression, not dismissal. Sometimes suppression leads to dismissal and this is where good lawyering is important. You need a good attorney. (206) 617-9173

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Miranda warnings inform defendants of their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney. They are designed to protect a defendant’s right not to make incriminating statements while in the potentially coercive environment of police interrogation. A defendant is entitled to receive Miranda warnings only when he is in custody and subject to interrogation. If you were interrogated after your arrest without being advised of your Miranda rights, it may be possible for your statements to be suppressed. You should contact an attorney who can file the appropriate motions in court. Best of luck.

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