What If The Police Don't Give You Your Miranda Rights?

Many people have the misconception that if the police fail to give them "their rights" that their arrest falls and the case should be dismissed. That's not generally the case. It is the law of the land that all police in this nation must give you "YOUR RIGHTS", which means your Miranda warnings. They basically consist of: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say, can and will be used against you in a Court of Law. You have the right to an attorney at all stages of the proceedings. If you cannot afford an attorney at your own expense, one will be provided to you free of charge." The police are supposed to inform you of those rights BEFORE they start to officially interrogate or question you. If they fail to do so, anything you say or anything that results from what you say in response to their questions, should be suppressed by the Court and not be able to be used against you at a trial.


The Practice Side of "YOUR RIGHTS"

There is a practical side of the equation. If the police don't question you, then their failure to recite your rights to you will have no adverse effect upon your case as a general rule. However, there are other exceptions too. If you blurt out a "confession" and say you did the crime before they have given you your rights, the general rule doesn't apply, unless they have done something to get you to make the statement. For instance, if they start a simple converstation which results in you making the so-called confession, which was made in response to anything they said, then it would likely be suppressed. If you just blurted it out spontaneously during a routine traffic stop, then it would most likely be useable against you. You will always need an experienced attorney to dissect whatever happened and evaluate what should be done in these circumstances. Suffice it to say, its never a simple or single answer in these situations.


Suppression Hearing

When this issue arises, it requires your attorney to file a Suppression Motion to ask the Court to not allow anything that was allegedly said to be used against you during the trial. In order to decide what should be done, the Court will hold a Suppression Hearing, usually just before the trial begins, to take testimony from the police and anyone else who can shed light on the situation and them makes a decision. This is often a great place to obtain an additional opportunity to cross-examine the police in advance of trial. That way, your attorney has a record of whatever is said and the police can't change their testimony at trial. It also gives you a better chance to impeach the police testimony during trial because you have something in writing to rely upon when they testify again during the trial. And you just might win the Hearing and suppress any confession which can only help you during the trial.