Everyone who has ever watched a TV crime show knows at least the first line of the Miranda rights, which is “You have the right to remain silent.” But, sometimes these TV crime shows make it seem as if a defendant’s case will be dismissed if the police forget to read the defendant his rights. A case can be dismissed because of an officer’s failure to read your Miranda rights, however this only occurs in certain situations.
When Are Police Required to Read These Rights?
Police officers are required to inform a person of his Miranda rights if the person is in custody and law enforcement wants to question him. This means the police officer who arrests you does not need to read your rights once you are in custody unless he plans on interrogating you. Likewise, a police officer who has pulled you over or stopped you on the street does not need to read these rights since you are not in police custody.
What Happens If the Police Don’t Read These Rights?
If a police officer should have read you these rights but fails to do so, it could affect the outcome of your case. For example, let’s say you are taken into custody and interrogated at the police station without being read your rights. Any statements that you make during this interrogation were illegally obtained since you were not informed of your rights before answering law enforcement’s questions. When this happens, your criminal defense attorney will file a motion with the court to suppress the evidence obtained during this unlawful interrogation. Basically, this means the statements that you made cannot be used as evidence in your case because you were not made aware of your rights prior to questioning.
So, will your case be thrown out? It depends on how much evidence the prosecutor has against you. If there is other evidence that can be used against you, the case may not be thrown out. However, if the prosecutor believes that he can no longer convict you because your statements cannot be used against you, then he may have no other choice but to drop the charges.
If you were not read your Miranda rights, seek legal representation from a criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will carefully review the facts to determine if the officer’s failure to read your rights affects your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.