Top 3 Miranda Myths Busted
Nearly everyone’s heard of Miranda warnings but most people misunderstand how they are applied or the limitations to them, and that brings us to myth number one. Police must read your Miranda warnings. Not true. There’s no legal requirement that police have to read you your Miranda warnings. Police are only legally required 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 a formal arrest, you’re not free to leave from the police when they’re talking to you and they’re questioning you about a crime, then yes, you are legally entitled to have your Miranda warnings read to you before police interrogation.
When Miranda Not Required #1
If you are voluntarily talking to police, meaning that you can leave or terminate that conversation at any time and walk away, then Miranda warnings are not legally required. So, if you have voluntarily confessed to a crime or evidence that ends up leading you being charged, then those statements will be legally admissible against you.
When Miranda Not Required #2
Myth number two. No Miranda, no charges. That is not true. Many people believe or hope that if police do not read them their Miranda warnings then they can’t be charged with a crime. 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 gave a confession to a crime and your Miranda rights were violated, then yes, the legal remedy for that violation is suppression of the statement.
But, any evidence outside of that violation, think fingerprints, video evidence of you committing the crime, eyewitness identifications, DNA at a crime scene, all that is still admissible against you and the State can use that in their case against you.
When Miranda Not Required #3
Myth number three. I kind of invoked my right to 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 made as a result of that questioning can and will be admissible against you.
That also means that you are the one that has to 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 police, someone else cannot tell the police to stop talking to you. The police do not have to listen to them in that particular situation.
If you’re at a police station and a lawyer comes in telling police they are representing you and demands they 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, please call a Charleston Criminal Defense Lawyer at (843) 530-7813. I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.