WHEN DO THE POLICE NEED TO "READ YOU YOUR RIGHTS"?
Television and Movies always portray police officers reading Miranda rights
to persons under arrest or suspected of a crime. This is very dramatic
but not a good portrayal of when and how the police must read a suspect
their Miranda Rights.
The Miranda rights are as follows:
"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will
be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney
present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will
be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights?"
The following case is a good example of the use of Miranda rights, when
the are to be used and how they can protect someone under criminal investigation.
It is important to note that one should never speak with the police and
should contact a
criminal defense lawyer immediately.
People v Baggett, 57 AD3d 1093, the Court erred in denying the defendant's motion to
suppress written statements and an audio recording during which he admitted
to committing certain crimes. The prosecution did not meet its initial
burden of proving that the statements were voluntary. At the time the
defendant made the first incriminating statement, a reasonable, innocent
person would not have felt free to leave.
Around midnight, the police pulled over the car the defendant was riding
in, even though no traffic violations were committed. The police asked
the defendant to come with them to the station, and the driver was allowed
to leave. The defendant was transported in a marked police car, but was
not handcuffed. He waited in an interview room, and when questioning started
the door was closed. The police told him the information they had, including
an accusation against him by an associate. After he denied stealing anything,
the questioning continued.
The police did not administrator Miranda warnings until the defendant finally
admitted that he stole the bicycle.
The pre-Miranda questions were accusatory in nature, and intended to elicit
an incriminating response. Although the other statements were made after
the Miranda warnings, they were tainted by the prior admission and there
was no significant break in the questioning.
The statements were suppressed.
Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP our criminal defense trial attorneys want you to understand your rights
and how to protect yourself, in a stressful situation, from police misconduct.
Our advice to our clients is that it is never advisable to talk to the
police without a criminal defense attorney. The police are looking for
an accused to make an admission to a crime since it is easier to obtain
a conviction with an admission.
In Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess and Bronx Counties our
criminal defense attorneys regularly appear in Court and conduct suppression
hearings based upon statements made by an accused. Statements are very
strong evidence of guilt and the best criminal defense must attack any
In certain circumstances the police DO NOT have to read you your rights
so it is advisable NOT to make any statements at any time to the police.
Immediately call our office for a FREE consultation.