Do Police have to read you your Miranda Rights? 40 Answers as of June 13, 2011

I was brought in for police questioning in a vandalism case and was later arrested based off of the information that I shared with them. They did not read me my Miranda Rights during the questioning, but arrested me anyways and read me my rights while they were arresting me. In court, they used the information that I shared with them before I was read my Miranda Rights to make a case against me. Is this legal?

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Clifford Clendenin & O'Hale, LLP
Clifford Clendenin & O'Hale, LLP | Locke T. Clifford
You only have to be Mirandized if you are (1) in custody, which you may not have been prior to your formal arrest, but it depends on the facts; and (2) being questioned, which you clearly were.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 6/13/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
Under the facts, you gave your attorney should have objected.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2011
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
Miranda rights only apply to questioning after you are under arrest. Call for more information.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 4/1/2011
The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
Whether and when the police are required to read you Miranda rights, or Article 31 rights in the military, is very fact specific. Hiring an experienced attorney before contact with police, or immediately thereafter is your best option in protecting your rights.
Answer Applies to: Hawaii
Replied: 3/30/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Miranda rights need only be advised in circumstances where the person is in a "custodial interrogation." In other words if questions are asked which could be incriminating, and if the person being questioned is not get up and leave the room or building without being arrested, then the police do not need to advise the Miranda rights. Anything said during a non-custodial interview can be used against the person in court.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 3/30/2011
    L. Smith Legal Help
    L. Smith Legal Help | Laura J Smith
    It depends. The police have to read you your Miranda Warnings when they arrest you, however police do not have to read Miranda Warnings to witnesses or people they question. You could file a Motion before the Court to suppress your statements because you were not given your Miranda Warnings; however, the Court is going to apply a balancing approach in analyzing whether the Police Officers were required to give you the warnings or not. There are lots of factors that the Court will look at. It is very important for every Defendant to hire an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you will be appointed a public defender.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    It depends. Miranda rights attach when you are no longer free to leave. In other words, when in custody. And even then recent case law has detracted from this valuable right. This is why most lawyers who know anything about criminal law will tell you to things: (1) do not speak to cops - ever - unless your lawyer is present; (2) do not agree to a search - ever - even if you lawyer is present. You stated they used those statements against you in court, if this case is closed, learn a lesson from it. However, if the time to appeal is still viable, file a notice of appeal and let a criminal lawyer look at the problem while there is still time.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    This is probably the most misunderstood legal concept among non-lawyers. Television and movies haven't helped in clarifying it any. Police have to read you Miranda Rights when three things are present: 1) Police or someone known to you to be acting as an agent of the police, 2) Custody a reasonable person would not feel free to leave, and 3) Interrogation asking you incriminating questions which could be used against you. Routine booking questions such as name, address, etc. do not count. There are other Miranda exceptions but there is neither the time nor space to cover them all here. If you came in for police questioning, that implies to me that they asked you to come in and you did on your own accord. That would not be considered police custody since you would be free to leave or not even come in in the first place. If they gleamed information from you that was used to incrimiante you during this interview, that information is fair game. Keep this in mind: no one is under an obligation to speak to the police (with a few exceptions). So be very careful about any information that you volunteer to the police. Even if they arrest you, they do not have to read you your Miranda Rights unless they intend on interrogating you. I would need a more complete overview of the facts in your situation before I could give you an accurate assessment. Hopefully this helps clarify the Miranda situation a little bit. Best of everything.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    That would depend on whether you were in the position that you or someone in your circumstances could have walked away from the interview. The Miranda rights only come into play when one is in custody and makes statements in response to police questioning. For example, someone could walk into a police station voluntarily and make a lengthy, detailed confession to a grisly murder. That confession would ordinarily be admissible as long as there was some independent evidence of the murder. As long as the confession is not coerced, it will be admissible. What I mean as far as admissible, is that the remedy for a Miranda violation is exclusion of the statement from consideration by the jury. The confession must be in response to interrogation. If a person was hand-cuffed in the back of a patrol car and spilled his guts, that would be admissible. The bottom line is failure of the police to read your rights is not ordinarily grounds for a dismissal of charges unless the state is unable to proceed without your confession or any information gained from your confession. Every American and every alien in America must remember you have the right to remain silent-use it!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    The police are required to read you your Miranda rights before questioning only if you have been brought into custody. This means that police can question you at a crime scene or elsewhere without reading you your rights.

    Being placed in police custody is defined as being placed in an environment from which you do not believe you are free to leave.

    If the police officially bring you into custody and interrogate you without first informing you of your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney present, then they cannot use any information which you have provided them with while in custody and before being informed of your rights.

    If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation to determine whether or not we are able to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    The police are supposed to mirandize you before asking any "guilt-seeking questions". However, unless you have an officer who is willing to admit that he did not read you your rights, you usually do not win such challenges. It works like this: we file a motion to suppress your statement. We have a hearing. At the hearing the police officer testifies that he DID read you your Miranda rights. The Judge is not inclined to call the officer a liar. We lose. Sadly, within the criminal justice system, "evidence" (i.e. testimony) is all that matters. Best of Luck!
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Lutgens
    Law Offices of John J. Lutgens | John Lutgens
    The admissibility of statements made by accused individuals, both pre and post Miranda, can depend upon the jurisdiction, the State, law where you were charged. You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Benari Law Firm
    Benari Law Firm | Arik T. Benari
    While there are many issues that work into a case to determine whether your rights were violated. In general, your lawyer should have been able to make an argument to suppress the evidence of your statements from being used in court against you that you made prior to being read your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    No and I bet they lied claiming that you were read your rights before questioning. Check to see if it was recorded in some manner. It may be the only way to prove what you are saying.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    The facts as you described them do not sound like they did a proper rights advisement. However, it is important to know all the facts before one can advise you as to your rights and options. We are The Goolsby Law Firm, LLC located in Augusta, GA. I would recommend that you promptly retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss raising this legal issue. You should do so promptly because there are strict deadlines which you should also discuss with your own attorney. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The police only have to read the Miranda warnings to suspects that are in custody and not free to leave. If they claim you were a witness or not in custody, under arrest, or a suspect the court may allow your confession to be used at trial. You are likely to plead to a reduced charge and so it will be irrelevant whether the confession is available at trial. You were not wise to confess to the police and should have asked for an attorney, but many people are persuaded to talk to the police and they have many ways to get them to confess or make statements that are inculpatory. People are told they will be better off or threatened, and the courts allow the police to lie to people, trick them, and get them to confess, but they cannot threaten them, coerce them, or torture them. Once they ask for an attorney all questioning must stop, but the police don't always follow that rule.If you had simply called an attorney he would have talked to the police and found out whether they had enough evidence to arrest you. He could have had a better chance of plea bargaining or winning the trial if you had not given the prosecutor a confession. Most confessions are not suppressed, and the police often say they read you the Miranda warnings before you confessed even though it was only after you gave them information incriminating yourself that they bothered to follow the Miranda rules. If someone cannot afford an attorney the police are required to provide one for free, but most people are not aware of their constitutional rights and are easily duped by the police into confessing. I am sure that you have learned a valuable lesson from this experience and perhaps it will prevent you from getting into any more trouble with the law. My guess is that you are young and that the crime was just a case of poor judgment or intoxication. You should be more concerned now about staying out of such situations than whether the police used your ignorance of the law against you. I hope you will continue your education and find a good career and that you did not get a criminal conviction from this minor incident. If the case is not yet resolved I suggest you retain an experienced criminal attorney who can likely have the case dismissed or reduced to a Disorderly Conduct which is not a criminal record.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of James S. Robinson
    Law Office of James S. Robinson | James S. Robinson
    No, only if they intend to use your statement against you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Miranda rights were clearly stated in a case called Miranda v Arizona. Once these rights were stated by the Court, police used this statement of rights to inform persons of their rights to help make a confession admissible at a later trial. The problem exists when these miranda rights are not read and the police then want to use the statments as a confession at trial. The claim of the Defendant is that the confession should not be admissible because they were not first advised of their miranda rights. The test to be employed is whether or not questioning occurred after the person was in custody. If not in custody, then miranda rights don't matter. So the question in your case is whether or not your were in custody at the time of questioning. If so, then miranda should have been given, and suppression could be sought by motion to the court. However, if not in custody, it does not matter. Should you have further questions and wish to retain this office to represent you, you may contact me. I hope this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland | Dustan Neyland
    The police do not have to read you your Miranda rights. However, anything you say while under arrest or while being detained cannot be used against you. It is very common that police do not do that in some areas of the State. In your situation, it would depend on whether or not you where answering questions voluntarily or if you believed that you were not free to leave once the questioning started. If you believed that you were not free to leave, then the statements made cannot be used as evidence against you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan
    The Law Offices of Jason Chan | Jason Chan
    It depends if the judge finds it a violation of your 5th amendment rights. It depends on when you were considered in custody and many other factors. There is an in depth analysis the court goes through to determine if the statement us admissible. If the court finds that your constitutional rights were violated the statement may be suppressed. However, even if your statements are suppressed, it doesn't mean the charges will be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Potentially, the evidence is due to be suppressed. If you were in custody at the time you were questioned and you were not told that you have the right to remain silent, then you have a legitimate argument that the evidence should be suppressed. Your right to remain silent is found in the U.S. Constitution, Amendment V.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    Two things have to exist before your Miranda rights have to be read-(1) you are in custody + (2) you are being interrogated. Police often ask people to come in voluntarily, tell them they are free to leave if they want, + then get them talking. Sounds like it is unlikely your statements can be thrown out. It is seldom a good idea to agree to talk to police.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    This is one of the biggest myths about criminal law. The only time a Miranda warning has to be given is when (a) a police officer (b) has a person in custody, and (c) wants to question that person. If you are just being questioned and are not in custody the officer can ask you questions without warning you just as long as you are willing to answer them.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    There's a bit of ambiguity to when statements you make can be used against you. Basically the police are not required to advise you of your rights unless you are in a "custodial" or "compelling" situation. That's to say, if you are under arrest or in a situation where a reasonable person would think that he or she would be not free to leave or at least likely to be arrested. Miranda stuff tends to be more situational. If they started talking to you and you were talking freely and you were not under arrest, not at the police station, not handcuffed, etc and especially if you were freely responding to their questions, then it's possible that the fact that you were saying things that incriminated you did not run afoul of any right against self-incrimination. When the cops realized that you were spilling your guts they probably should have advised you of your rights, but from your question, they may have had all they needed to arrest you at that point. You can still argue that they statements were obtained unlawfully and they should be suppressed because they police should have read you your rights earlier.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Generally speaking, Miranda rights are supposed to be read when arrested. If one is arrested and the cops keep on questioning without reading Miranda rights, it is possible to then have those statements suppressed. Often there is a question of whether someone is considered arrested or not. It is possible for someone to be arrested even if the cops say they are not. I always recommend consulting an attorney before interviewing with cops on a criminal or potential criminal charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    The big question is going to be whether or not you were in custody. If you were there voluntarily, you may not be deemed in custody by the court. It all depends though... Things can change on a small twist of facts. If your Miranda rights were violated, any statement is subject to being suppressed. Whether or not it impacts the case depends on the rest of the facts. Definitely something to discuss with your lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    No. You must be read miranda warnings before you are questioned. File a motion to suppress.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    I'm afraid it probably is legal. Miranda only applies to questioning that is done while you are IN CUSTODY. An attorney could look at the specific circumstances and determine if an argument could be made that you were in custody (i.e. not free to leave) when they first questioned you. I'm very sorry this has happened to you. Always remember that if police are questioning you they will use any info you give them against you!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    If you have already gone to trial and been convicted based on these statements, then your lawyer dropped the ball - depending on the circumstances, your statements could have been suppressed. If this is the case, you might want to inquire about an appeal or post-conviction-relief. If you have not yet gone to trial, and these statements are still out there, then you need to get a lawyer IMMEDIATELY. Again, depending on the circumstances, it is possible that these statements were obtained by violating your constitutional rights, in which case, they should not be used against you. If you have not yet gone to trial, then get a lawyer. Now. I'd be happy to give you a free consultation if you need one - I'm a former prosecutor and have dealt with this issue many times. If you do have a lawyer now and you are happy with them, make sure they know all of this information.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Alton William Wiley, Jr.
    Law Office of Alton William Wiley, Jr. | Alton William Wiley, Jr.
    Miranda applies to custodial interrogation. If in custody and the police were interrogating you, then they must read you the Miranda Rights.  It sounds  like you may have voluntarily made statements before being placed into custody, and those statements can be used against you.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes it is, because you were not under arrest when you spoke, and that is an admission. After you were arrested, that is when Miranda kicks in.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    What do you mean in court? If you have already plea bargained or lost at trial, its too late to bitch about what happened. Miranda warnings are not required during investigation questioning. Only once they determine they have grounds to arrest you must they then do so before they seek a confession and try to use it in court. Most TV cop shows are quite ignorant of the real laws and procedures. The ONLY advice you should have followed is to exercise your 5th Amendment rights to SHUT UP, hire an attorney, and do NOT talk to anyone except your attorney about any case in which police seek to question you. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain for you through plea bargaining, or take it to trial if appropriate. If it is not too late, and if serious about doing so, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Miranda only has to be read when you are arrested. Prior to arrest everything is consensual.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Sharifi & Baron
    Sharifi & Baron | S. Yossof Sharifi
    If it the detention was voluntary, they do not need to read your Miranda rights. However, if the detention was involuntary, for example, if you felt you couldn't leave, they told you couldn't leave, someone was stationed at the door or you were handcuffed etc., then a court could find that the detention was involuntary and your statements would not be used against you in court. The length of the detention is also important. I'm guessing this occurred in a Justice Court. If so, you have thirty days from the date of sentencing to appeal and receive a new trial. I would recommend getting an attorney to review the detention.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC
    The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC | Justin C. Olsinski
    The situation you describe may not require them to read you your rights before questioning you. This will depend on the circumstances surrounding the questioning. You should consult an attorney who can look over all of the facts and give you a more definitive answer. Feel free to contact me, I would be glad to help you further with your questions.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    Miranda Rights are only required in circumstances where an individual is 1) in custody and 2) being interrogated. In order to accurately determine whether or not there was a Constitutional violation in your case, more information is needed. For example, if you voluntarily went to the police station to speak with the police regarding the vandalism, then a Miranda warning may not have been required since your participation in the question was voluntary. This, of course, is only one example. There are many other factors consider in making a determination. If you have a criminal defense lawyer, they should be able to fully explain and evaluate any potential violations. If not, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to do so. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
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