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If the police forget to “Mirandize” you at arrest, does the case get thrown out?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2020 | Uncategorized

You probably have a pretty good idea what the “Miranda warning” sounds like. After all, it’s used widely (in some fashion or another) in television shows and movies. Every time someone is arrested, you hear an officer or detective begin the warning by saying, “You have the right to remain silent” to the accused.

The Miranda warning is designed to remind people that they have a Constitutional right against self-incrimination and the right to an attorney when they need to defend themselves against criminal charges. It protects people from being bullied by the police. However, the prevalence of its use in fiction has left many people confused about when a Miranda warning is required — and what happens if you don’t get one.

The police are only required to Mirandize you if you are in their custody and under interrogation. That’s it. They do not, for example, have to give you a Miranda warning if you come in to the police station voluntarily and give statements about a case they’re investigating — even if you’re later arrested. They also don’t have to Mirandize you if you’re under arrest, but they are no longer asking you any questions.

It’s very unlikely for a criminal case to be tossed over the failure to Mirandize a suspect, nor will a case be dismissed over minor mistakes in wording. Most of the time, cases are built with evidence that doesn’t necessarily rely on the statements of the accused in the first place.

If you’re facing criminal charges, don’t rely on what you think you know about how the law works. Talk to an experienced defense attorney.