Posted on: 2 August 2018
It's possible that you have been accused of a crime and are being arrested. At this time, the police are supposed to read you your rights, known as Miranda rights. These tell you what your rights are in that moment – you have the right to remain silent and not talk to police and you have the right to a lawyer.
There is a bit of a misunderstanding of when your rights should be read to you. When should you be read your rights and what happens if they are never read?
When Should Your Rights be Read?
Most people believe that your rights have to be read when you are detained for a crime. This isn't usually the case. If the police believe there might be more to your story or more to what happened than what they are being told, they may simply talk to you and ask questions of you in case some information comes out that a prosecutor can use against you in a courtroom.
The police can and should read you your rights when you are first detained or placed into custody. They may not actually arrest you at this time or you might not be arrested at all, but if the chance is there that the police believe you are criminally responsible for whatever they are investigating at the time, they should read you your rights.
However, they are not legally obligated to read you your rights while in police custody or detained or if you are not officially being interrogated. This still means that the police can use whatever you say against you. They are only obligated to read you your rights when you are being arrested for the crime.
What Happens if Your Rights Aren't Read?
If the police don't read you your rights and they begin interrogating you anyway, anything you say during questioning can't be used against you in court. An example of this is, if you were not read your rights once you are detained or during questioning and the police discover the location of a murder weapon or perhaps the location of a stash of drugs, this information can't be used against you unless the police can prove they would have found or did find this information without your statements.
You must make these statements of your own free will and not under duress. The police can't intimidate you in any way or deprive you of food or sleep. Anything that you say under duress in these situations are not admissible in court. Contact a law firm, like Matt Chapel, Trial Lawyer, for more help.Share