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Miranda Rights Questions

Miranda rights are used as a warning by police to a suspect before being questioned. The police are required to give Miranda to anyone being questioned after being arrested. In the event that Miranda isn't given and a person's statement has been taken, in order to protect their rights, the person needs to have an attorney file for a suppression hearing. This is a hearing to show that the person's rights have been violated and an attempt to keep the statement from being used against the person in court. Below are a few questions regarding Miranda that has been answered by Experts.

If you were never read your Miranda rights, is a signed statement admissible in court? I was never placed under arrest, but I was in an interrogation room at the police station and they never said I was free to go at anytime.

If your case goes to trial, your attorney can request a pre-trial hearing on the grounds that your statement was taken unconstitutionally. Usually, a suppression hearing will determine whether or not a defendant's rights have been violated by the police. This is determined by a judge who decides if the police officers actions were that of what a reasonable policeman would have done under the same circumstances.

Miranda is not necessary in every situation, and is usually applied during post-arrest interrogations. During the hearing, the DA will question the officer who interrogated you, and more than likely the officer will state that you were not going to be arrested so Miranda was not a requirement. When it is your attorney's turn to question the officer, he/she will try to show that your detainment at the police station was treated like an arrest and you were under the impression that you couldn't leave. The attorney will give details that will support your claim that you were forced to stay.

Once both sides have presented their evidence, the judge will determine the outcome. If the judge rules in your favor, he could rule that the signed statement be kept out of the trial and cannot be used against you.

What are legal procedures of Miranda rights when a person is either drunk or under the influence of narcotics who doesn't comprehend or have any knowledge of what is happening at such time to understand what is being told to them?

The person would need to file a motion to suppress the information obtained during the statement because the person was not coherent enough to understand the legal ramifications of giving a statement under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It will be up to the judge to determine if the defendant's intoxication actually impaired their ability to comprehend the true meaning of the Miranda. However, if the statements made during the interrogation were not being used against the defendant, his/her level of intoxication wouldn't matter. Intoxication doesn't allow for a person to commit a crime, but the person should be coherent before given the option to submit a statement.

Are the police required by law to read you your Miranda rights when you are arrested in South Dakota? If they were not what should I do? I have been in jail for 10 days now.

A police officer doesn't have to advise you of your Miranda rights when arresting you. The only reason a police officer needs to advise you of your Miranda rights is if they are questioning you about the alleged crime that you were arrested for. If you are arrested and the police officer questions you without notifying you of the Miranda, your charges will not be dismissed. What will happen is your statement and any information acquired during your statement will be kept from court and cannot be used against you.

Do the Miranda rights even matter when you are being arrested?

Many people are under the impression that if a police officer arrests them without reading the Miranda, the arrest is illegal and the charges can be thrown out of court. This isn't true. The only time Miranda is given is in the event of questioning by a police officer. The police have to read the Miranda before they question a person in custody. If a person is arrested but not questioned, the Miranda doesn't need to be given.

If a person signs a confession or statement after being arrested, the police need to read the Miranda to the person before the statement is given. The exception to this rule would be if the person volunteers the information without being prompted or asked.

In the event that the person was not read the Miranda and was questioned, their attorney would file for a suppression hearing. During the hearing, the DA will try to prove that the police were within their rights when questioning the person. The person's attorney will then have an opportunity to show that his client's rights have been violated and that the statement should be kept from trial. Once both sides have been heard, the judge will make his/her ruling. If the judge rules in the person's favor, the statements will be kept from the trial and cannot be used against them. To learn more about Miranda rights, you can seek the legal insight of an Expert who is familiar with criminal law.
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