Top 3 Miranda Myths Busted
Nearly everyone’s heard of Miranda warnings but most people misunderstand how they replied or the limitations to them, and that brings us to myth number one. Police must read your Miranda warnings. There’s no legal requirement that police have to read your Miranda warnings. You’re only entitled to Miranda warnings when you’re in custody and being subject to police interrogation. What that means is, it doesn’t even have to be a formal arrest, but if it’s what they call the functional equivalent to formal arrest, and so that means if you’re not free to leave from the police when they’re talking to you and they’re discussing or questioning about a crime, then yes, you’re entitled to your Miranda warnings.
When Miranda Not Required #1
However, if you’re just voluntarily talking to the police, meaning that you can leave or terminate that conversation at any time you want and walk away from the situation, then they’re not required to give you a Miranda warnings. And so, if you’ve voluntarily confessed to a crime or evidence that ends up leading you being charged, then those statements will be admissible against you in a court of law.
When Miranda Not Required #2
And that brings us to myth number two. No Miranda, no charges. And that’s obviously not true. Most people think that because they haven’t been read their Miranda warnings that they can’t be charged with a crime, and the reason why that’s not true is, Miranda applies only when the violation has occurred. What that means is, any evidence outside of that violation can be used against you. So, if you give a confession to a crime and your Miranda warnings or rights were violated, then yes, that confession can be suppressed and any evidence that’s obtained from that illegal violation can also be suppressed.
But, any evidence outside of that violation, think of fingerprints, video evidence of you’re committing the crime, eyewitness identifications, DNA at a crime scene, all that can still be ruled admissible against you and the State can use that to try to get a conviction.
When Miranda Not Required #3
And that brings us to myth number three. I kind of invoked my right a lawyer. It’s not enough to say that, “I wish I had a lawyer,” or, “That I’d like to have a lawyer,” or, “Man, it’d be nice to have a lawyer.” You must be clear and unequivocal when invoking your rights. So what that means is you have to tell the police clearly, “I want a lawyer, I do not want to talk to you any more.” If you only tell the police, “It’d be nice to have a lawyer, I wish I had lawyer,” then police can continue questioning you and any statements that you make as a result of that questioning can be used and will be admissible against you in court.
That also means that you’re the one that has to actually invoke those rights. It can’t be your parents. If you’re being questioned by police and they turn up to the police station, or at the crime scene and you’re being questioned by them, they can’t turn around and tell the police to stop talking to you. The police do not have to listen to them in that particular situation.
Or, if you’re at a police station and a lawyer comes representing you and tells them to stop questioning their client, the police do not have to stop questioning you at that point, because you’re the one that has to invoke those rights. And so, that sums up the three most common myths that we have.
Charleston Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have any questions in your case regarding Miranda warnings or violations or you think that they’re violations, please give me a call at (843) 530-7813. I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.