Friday, February 23, 2018

The Cops Never Read Me My Miranda Rights

One of the most frequent questions that I get, as an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, from clients is “the cops never read me my rights ... does that matter?” If you were in custody and were interrogated, then yes, it does.

Never Read My Rights (Think of it this way)

Were you in custody?

Generally, the courts have look to the following factors to determine whether someone is in in custody: police interviewing a suspect at a police station; the presence of multiple police officers; telling someone they are the prime suspect; restraining the person’s freedom; and pointing a gun at someone.  Courts have identified the following factors as someone not in custody: questioning at a person’s home; a suspect’s ability to leave at any time; a nonthreatening environment; police informing someone they are not under arrest; and the brevity of questioning.  While not one of the above factors alone will be determinative. Instead, the court will use a totality of the circumstances approach to determine whether someone is in custody. 

Were you interrogated?

A suspect may make a voluntary statement to the police or confess to a crime without any questioning at all. These statements may be admitted into evidence without a Miranda warning taking place, because no interrogation took place. But even if the police do not ask any specific questions, they may still not be coercive in their actions or words. The “the term ‘interrogation’ under Miranda refers not only to express questioning, but also to any words or actions on the part of the police (other than those normally attendant to arrest and custody) that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect.”
In Minnesota, the rule isL “an interrogation is custodial if, based on all the surrounding circumstances, ‘a reasonable person under the circumstances would believe that he or she was in police custody of the degree associated with formal arrest.’”


What's Going to Happen?

Many arrests take place without Miranda ever being read to the accused. For example, in DWI cases, officers are generally only required to read someone their Miranda rights after they decide whether they are going to take an evidentiary test. Further, many traffic stops and offenses never trigger Miranda warnings. Thank Hollywood for the idea that officers are required to read Miranda for every arrest. Sadly, the remedy for a Miranda violation also often does not result in a dismissal, rather the remedy for a Miranda violation is the suppression of statements made after the violation and often evidence obtained because of those statements. So even if you were in custody and were being interrogated, and the cops did not read you your Miranda rights, then the prosecution may still move forward with its case if it has enough other evidence against you.


Still have questions - please feel free to Call The Rolloff Law Office --- for FREE ANSWERS: (612) 234-1165

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