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Served federal time but was never arrested nor read Miranda rights. Do I have any recourse

Safety Harbor, FL |
Attorney answers 6

Best Answer

It sounds like you pled guilty. Very unlikely that you can do anything about it at this point. Miranda is probably a non-issue. It usually is. A guilty plea constitutes a waiver of all error other than the integrity of the plea itself, the jurisdiction of court (seldom a serious issue) or the propriety of the sentence. In federal court a plea agreement sometimes includes a waiver of the right to appeal. There are strict deadlines that you have probably missed. All in all, this does not sound good. I suggest that you consult an attorney familiar with federal criminal defense to review your case and see whether anything can be done. But do not be surprised to get a disappointing answer.


More info is needed to property frame the issues in your question. What were the charges? Was the arrest via warrant or on view? Did you give a voluntary statement?
Consult an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer to determine your options, if any.

Of course, every answer is based on the question asked and requires a more complete context. This answer should not be relied upon to make a legal decision. Seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney before acting. Law Offices of Raymond G. Wigell, Ltd. Defenders of the Constitution since 1975/ Aggressive Creative Defense Strategies/ Website: 24/7 call (708) 481-4800 text (708)218-0923


You can't get sentenced to 3 years in prison without being arrested, arraigned and going through all the procedures that make up due process. You may not have been physically cuffed and booked but whatever it was that got you to the court to get you sentenced included an arrest at some stage. It's a little late to bring up Miranda rights and in any event they oly refer to post arrest or custodial interrogations.


First, you should consult an attorney if you feel your rights were not protected. Only an attorney familiar with your case and looking at your docket can provide you a proper answer. Based upon the limited information, I agree with the other attorneys. You most likely pled guilty and thereby waived any right to appeal - a Miranda issue. In any event, Miranda only deals with custoidal interrogation and the use of the product statement. Also, even if you had a conditional guilty plea, then the time deadlines may bar a filing. Hope this helps. Consult an attorney familiar with your case.


Miranda rights are required only when there is a custodial interrogation. If you were not arrested or otherwise in custody when you made an incriminating statement that the Government used against you, the no Miranda issue likely exists. If you did make such statement that was used against you, your attorney's failing to raise the issue (if he or she did not) may support a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, although it seems that the one year limitation period from the judgment's becoming final to file habeas corpus petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 has passed if you have completed a three year sentence.

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.


They don't have to arrest you before your indictment. Nor need they read you Miranda rights unless they have you in custody and intend to interrogate you about what happened. As your federal lawyer no doubt said, you have no recourse except to get the lowest possible sentence. You already did that.