Why did detectives read me my rights before they “interviewed” me?

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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Why did detectives read me my rights before they “interviewed” me?

To make a long story short the store I work at was robbed last week while I was the only one working.They never caught the guy so they called me to come in to run a few things by me. When I arrived they brought me into the interview room and read me my rights. First, is that legal to do since I was never arrested nor involved in anyway? Second, should I consider getting a lawyer because it is clear they think I’m suspect because they have no where else to point the finger?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts


Aaron Fontana / Law Office of Aaron M. Fontana

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As per the previous answer, it may be that the police read you your rights just to be sure they are covering their bases. But be careful! Typically when the police read someone their rights, it means that they are considered in custody.

Said another way, it COULD be that you were given the Miranda warning because you are a suspect and the police were custodially interrogating you for the purpose of ascertaining whether you would incriminate yourself or (hopefully) exonerate yourself.   

First, yes, the police can do this. They are charged with investigating and solving crimes and can legally do so - provided they do so legally. At this point, it seems as if they may have followed the rules.   

Second, yes, if you are charged with a crime, you should hire an attorney. Moreover, if you are ever hauled into the station, read your rights and interrogated again, I would strongly suggest that you tell the police you no longer want to speak without an attorney present. At such point, they must stop their questioning and allow you your request.

Again, it may be that you're not suspect. After all, as with any other profession, the police must do their due diligence and exhaust all their leads even if that lead ultimately leads nowhere. 

In any case, better safe than sorry. Proceed with caution - and good luck!   

Catherine Taylor / Broadbent & Taylor

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The police most likely read you your rights to make sure all their bases were covered. Even if you are not a suspect at this point, they are being careful. Many times people who are brought in only as witnesses for an interview say things that may be potentially incriminating. By reading you your rights, if you happen to say something that could be incriminating in this case - or another case - the police want to ensure that they are able to use that statement against you in court and not have it thrown out due to a Miranda violation. If you are concerned about the robbery being pinned on you, you should contact a criminal attorney for assistance. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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