I'm a criminal
defense attorney and that is probably the single most often asked question I get.
Unfortunately, people misunderstand the application of the Miranda warnings all the time. Miranda does NOT need to be read at the time of an arrest. Miranda is required to be read when two factors are present:
- The person must be in custody. While this normally means an actual, physical arrest, this is not necessary, the person need only not feel free to leave the area. For example, if law enforcement asks you to come to their station, you do so, and then are in an interrogation
room with 3 officers around you.....you would not feel free to leave.
- The person must be subject to an interrogation. This would mean being asked questions by law enforcement about some criminal activity. This would NOT include being asked your name, date of birth, address, etc.
So, unless BOTH these factors were present, the lack of Miranda warnings is not controlling.
To best protect your rights in court, I would urge you to look into hiring a criminal defense attorney in your area.
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