What Happens If Law Enforcement Doesn't Read Your Miranda Rights To You?
If law enforcement places you under arrest for a suspected crime without reading your Miranda rights to you, you may wonder if you can get your charges thrown out in court. The Miranda recites the Fifth and Sixth amendment rights you have as an United States citizen, regardless of the crime you may have committed. Federal law requires that every arresting officer recites those rights before he or she takes you to jail.
If you didn't receive those rights during your arrest, you need to contact a criminal attorney for representation. Here's why:
Your Words Cannot Be Used Against You
Even if you're guilty of the crime charged against you, if the police don't read you your Miranda rights at the time of your arrest, anything you say may not be used against you in court. The Miranda rights in this case give you the right to speak up or remain silent.
If you choose to speak out and admit to the crime when you're arrested, the court may find you guilty. However, if you didn't receive your Miranda rights and you admit to the crime, the court may or may not find you guilty of the crime.
You should contact an attorney and inform him or her that you didn't receive your Miranda rights. The attorney may choose to ask the court to throw out your case because you didn't have a chance to waive or agree to the right to remain silent. But you must speak to an attorney directly about your specific case, as some crimes like murder are still punishable by law, even if you didn't have your rights read.
You Didn't Know You Had a Right to an Attorney
Once you arrive to jail, you have a right to call an attorney to represent you. The court system should assign you one if you can't find your own legal counsel. If law enforcement booked you, took your fingerprints and photographed you without allowing you to contact any type of legal representation, you may have a case of your own. When you do receive legal counsel, your attorney may ask the judge to reduce your charges or simply throw them out.
Tips You Can Use
If you do face an arrest in the future and can do so, ask law enforcement for time to call a lawyer. In addition, you may want to:
- Remain silent during your arrest because anything you say may be used against you
- Remain calm and don't resist arrest — acting out, screaming or fighting may escalate the problem
- Call family members or friends when law enforcement gives a chance to do so — you need someone to contact an attorney if law enforcement denies you that right
By following the tips above, you may have a chance to reduce your charges.
Remember, every person has a right to legal counsel. If you need additional guidance about your legal troubles, contact your criminal law attorney for assistance. To learn more, contact a company like Jones Auger & Auger with any questions or concerns you have.