If the arresting officers never read Miranda rights, what does that mean for the defendant?

UPDATED: Dec 9, 2011

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If the arresting officers never read Miranda rights, what does that mean for the defendant?

Asked on December 9, 2011 under Criminal Law, Alabama


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Contrary to popular belief, a defendent will not automatically "beat the case" if the arresting officer doesn't read them their Miranda rights. The fact is that the Miranda warning must only be given if a person is in custody and then questioned.

However, if a person is in custody and then questioned without being Mirandized, any statements so made cannot be used. The 2 exceptions to this: the statements were voluntarily and knowingly made any way (ie the defendant waived his rights) or the questioning was incidental to the booking process (i.e. name, address, etc).

Any questioning before being taken into custody (i.e. arrested) is legal.

That having been said, a criminal law attorney should be consulted. There are other potential defenses that can be enlisted which could result in a reduced charge, an outright dismissal or an acquittal at trial.

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