In this eye-opening video, our dedicated criminal defense team dives deep into the topic of whether police officers are obligated to read your Miranda Rights during an arrest.
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Hi, everyone. Did you know the police don’t always have to read you your rights?
This is Christina Williams with Just Criminal Law.
00;00;09;05 – 00;00;10;19
And this is David Mann, legal storytelling specialist. Well okay, so that’s an interesting lead in.
I thought they always had to read you your rights. But you’re saying sometimes they don’t?
00;00;20;10 – 00;00;21;12
No, there is. And there’s a common question, probably the most common question that I get asked
when a client comes in and they’re just new to the charge and they’re wanting to know what happened and if there’s any sort of technicality as far as what the police did that, you know, can get their case thrown out. And the number one question is, ‘Well, what can we do? The police didn’t read me my rights.
00;00;46;28 – 00;00;49;25
And it’s important to note that a lot of cases, the officer doesn’t ask you any questions after they arrest you or after you’re considered under arrest and not free to leave. But there is a point in time where you’re not free to leave, but you’re not under arrest. And that’s what gets confusing. It’s called an ‘Investigative Detention.’
00;01;14;03 – 00;01;15;00
Okay. So that means something happened that the police officer wants to question you about and you have to stay there, but you’re not actually under arrest during this period.
00;01;28;07 – 00;01;28;22
Right. A common thing that might happen is, say, you and your spouse get into an argument and the police get called and one of the spouses is accusing the other spouse of hitting them. And so the officer arrives and maybe everybody’s upset and, you know, still yelling at each other.
00;01;50;05 – 00;01;52;29
The officer may actually handcuff one of the parties and they do that. You know, the person’s then being detained. Obviously they’re in handcuffs and they’re not free to leave. The officer may do that for his own safety and he may also do that because he suspects one of the parties is involved in criminal conduct. And so he wants to sort out what’s going on. But he has to articulate why it is that he believes he needed to detain the person. Why did he stop them from leaving? Because they’re not free to leave. And if they have enough good reason to detain the person, they may develop what is called ‘Probable Cause.’
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And, you know, during the detention, they’re going to be asking you questions, so it’s always important to remember that you may not have been read your rights yet, but that doesn’t mean that your right to remain silent isn’t there. So even though they don’t have to read you your rights, you also do not have to talk.
00;03;06;00 – 00;03;06;28
Aha. And we’ve talked about that in other videos too. The number one rule, if you don’t remember anything else, is just that you don’t have any obligation to talk at all. And the police officer is just going to make it seem like they’re just having a conversation with you, which makes it feel unnatural not to talk. But the rule you’re saying is, just don’t talk.
00;03;27;18 – 00;03;30;18
Right. Because there’s that gray area and, you know, maybe the officer should have read your rights, but you keep talking and, you know, he’s made the decision that he’s going to arrest you, but he doesn’t stop you yet and tell you that you’re under arrest. Now, that’s where an attorney can come in and look at what happened and when you should have been read your rights and ask the court to suppress the statement or kick out the statement from the point in time when you were really under arrest, but the officer let you keep talking.
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All right. So because this mistake is made all the time and people talk, they might need your assistance. So how would they get that?
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Sure. We’ll include a link in the description where they can call, text, or chat with a member of my team, any time, day or night.
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