Criminal defense in California is a complex area of law, and there are many misconceptions about the legal process. Most people’s knowledge of the judicial system relies on what they’ve seen on television or in movies. One of the most common myths is what happens if police officers fail to read a suspect their Miranda Rights.
A Miranda Rights violation might benefit your case, but you’ll need the assistance of an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney. Attorney Dod of Dod Law is a top source of legal representation in California. He will guide you through the legal process after officers fail to read your rights.
What Are Miranda Rights?
The Miranda warning comes from the 1966 United States Supreme Court Case Miranda v. Arizona. The ruling prohibits prosecutors from using a suspect’s statements from interrogations if the police did not inform them of their rights. In general, an officer who’s about to conduct an interrogation must inform the individual:
- Of their right to remain silent
- The prosecution can and will use anything they say against them in court
- They have the right to an attorney before and during questioning
- The court will appoint a lawyer to them if they cannot afford one
Remember, if you waive your Miranda Rights, you can change your mind at any time during the interrogation.
How to Invoke Miranda Rights
To invoke your Miranda Rights, you must tell the police you wish to remain silent, want the interrogation to end, or request an attorney. Staying quiet is not enough. You must specifically state your intentions. You must also remember that anything you say after officers read your rights is admissible in court. Similarly, the prosecution can use anything you voluntarily say before invoking your rights as evidence in your case.
When Do Police Have to Read the Miranda Warning?
Police only have to read Miranda Rights if they plan to interrogate you in custody. This means that arrests can happen without a Miranda warning. If officers plan to question you later, that’s when they will read the notice.
Take an example where police are asking a witness about a fire. Since they are questioning them as a witness and the police have not restrained the person in any way, officers do not have to read them a Miranda warning. Throughout questioning, though, the witness starts to describe events they should not know about, raising suspicion. Officers then arrest the person on the belief they started the fire and read them their rights. Police and prosecutors can use anything the individual said before being detained and anything after as evidence. Similarly, voluntary statements are also admissible in court.
What Happens When Police Don’t Read Miranda Rights?
The common misconception is that the state will drop criminal charges if the police fail to read suspects their rights. However, that is not true. Instead, prosecutors cannot use any evidence they obtained through a Miranda violation, but they may proceed with charges. A good criminal defense lawyer, such as Attorney Dod, will then argue for the judge to drop the charges or negotiate with the state to reduce the severity of the charges or sentencing upon a conviction.
Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney in San Diego
If you’re facing criminal charges in California and the police violated your Miranda Rights, reach out to Dod Law. When you partner with Attorney Dod, you can be confident that he will do everything possible to protect your rights.
Attorney Dod has been practicing law for more than 17 years and has over 6,500 criminal cases, including 75 jury trials and 400 preliminary hearings, under his belt. His case results speak for themselves. With a 10.0 “Superb” rating on Avvo, Attorney Dod is a well-respected criminal defense attorney in the California community. To schedule a free consultation, call (619) 627-0214 or complete our contact form.