What Happens If a Police Officer Doesn’t Read Me My Miranda Rights?
If a police officer fails to inform you of your Miranda rights, any incriminating statements you make in response to police questioning may not be used against you at your criminal trial. But this process is not automatic. You will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to file a motion to suppress the unlawfully obtained testimony. If successful, the motion to suppress may lead to the dismissal of the criminal charges against you.
Criminal cases are often won or lost in the preliminary stages of the criminal justice system. If the police abuse their authority, you may be in a good position to avoid criminal liability. But you need to work with a proactive legal defense team that will ensure your rights are upheld at every stage of the process. If the police failed to give you a Miranda warning after your arrest, call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC today at (412) 281-2146 or use our online contact form for a free consultation of your case.
What Are Miranda Rights, and Why Are They Necessary?
Even if you’ve never heard of Miranda rights before, it’s likely you actually know them. They’re the famous words the police always say to suspects who are brought into custody: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a Court of Law. You have the right to an Attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.”
Named after the 1966 Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona, these warnings are given to suspects to alert them to the important constitutional rights they enjoy throughout the criminal justice process. The Fifth Amendment guarantees the right against self-incrimination, while the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to legal counsel during criminal proceedings. The importance of exercising these rights if you wish to have a good case outcome cannot be overstated.
The police must give you a Miranda warning as soon as you are placed into custody–a point which is not always clear. Generally, this means you have been placed under arrest, but it could also be any time you have a reasonable belief that you are in custody. Therefore, if the police don’t formally arrest you, don’t give a Miranda warning, but place you in a situation in which your reasonably believe you are under arrest, your rights may be violated.
On the other hand, there are situations where the police are legally able to question you without giving you a Miranda warning. They can do this by questioning you before you are officially a suspect. For example, the police may approach you and initiate a conversation during which they ask questions. You are under no obligation to answer, but because you are not under arrest, the police don’t have to inform you of your rights.
How Can a Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
If the police failed to give you a Miranda warning after placing you in custody, your lawyer will be in a position to request the suppression of any evidence they obtained against you through questioning. Similarly, other police misconduct may offer an avenue for the removal of evidence from your case. If the police performed a warrantless search not justified by emergency circumstances, or pulled you over without reasonable suspicion, any evidence they obtained is also subject to suppression.
For this reason, it’s essential that you speak with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. In the early stages of the criminal justice process, your lawyer needs to act fast and challenge the police’s abuse of authority. If successful, these challenges can result in the dismissal of your case. But if you fail to act, you could get convicted even thought the police violated your rights. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime, call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC today at (412) 281-2146 or use our online contact form to learn about your defense options.