Saturday, February 11, 2012
Were You Read Your Rights?
If there's one question about arrests that I, as an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, answer more than any other it's about the reading of your rights. Maybe it's because of all of the cop shows on TV, but individuals really know that the police have to read you your rights - but what is often lost in all of the info-tainment is the why, the when and the how of the Miranda warning. Hopefully this post clears up some confusion.
"In Custody" Requirement This definition is important, and often raises issues which must be sorted out by the court in an evidentiary hearing. You must be in custody for this law to apply to you.
What does it mean to be in custody? In Minnesota it generally means that you are not free to leave, and this restraint must not just be temporary. However,k courts will allow people to be held for officer's safety without implicating the Miranda warning.
Now, while I would never agree that there is a proper distinction under the Miranda case law, many judges do. So, as aggressive Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney working for your freedom, I'll work to draw the court's attention to case law which supports your facts and argue application of Miranda.
"Interrogation" Requirement Interrogation or questioning is the second component of the Miranda rule. "Interrogation" usually means the police are asking you something more than your name and you are responding to those questions. If you volunteer information to the police and just start talking to them, it is completely admissible against you - even if you are in custody. So, don't volunteer information to the police. We always advise our clients to never give any statements to police, but those you volunteer are the most dangerous.
Remedy for a Violation of the Miranda Rule
People call tell me all the time that the police did not read them their rights, so they want the case dismissed. Sorry to say - it just doesn't work like that. The best case scenario for a violation of the Miranda rule is that what you said will not be admissible at your trial. Now, this can be a huge development in your case. However, many times it is not that important because police have the same evidence you gave them from other sources.
What Should You Do?
My best advice is to not make any statements to the police. They are not your friends and there is only one reason they want to talk to you: to gain evidence to use against you. They often do not care about what actually occurred and are only trying to gain information to use against you. Don't be fooled into thinking they are your knight in shining armor and will save you. They are your opponent. Your criminal defense lawyer is your only friend.
So, if you are contacted by police or arrested, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us the Rolloff Law Office at once, at (612) 234-1165. Together, we can protect your future.