WHEN DO THE POLICE HAVE TO READ ME MY RIGHTS?
When a person is suspected of committing a
misdemeanor crime or
felony crime and is taken into police custody or is significantly deprived of freedom,
and the police want to interrogate that person, the Fifth Amendment of
the United States Constitution requires the police to read that person
what is known as their "Miranda warnings". The Miranda warnings in New York and Westchester County are as follows:
- You have the right to remain silent
- Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law
- You have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any questions and
have him or her with you
- If you can't pay for a lawyer, one will be given to you before any
questions, if you wish
After a person is their Miranda warnings, and that person does not invoke
their right to remain silent, every statement that they make to the police
is allowed to be used against them in court including at a trial.
What is the definition of being in Custody or being significantly deprived
The standard for determining whether a person is in police custody or is
being significantly deprived of their freedom is whether a reasonable
person, who is in the defendant's position, innocent of any crime,
would have thought that they were free to leave. In making this determination
many factors must be considered including:
- how much time the person was with the police
- whether the police made that person aware of their constitutional rights
- was the police questioning investigative in nature
- was the police questioning accusatory in nature
- what was the individual's level of cooperation with the police
- the location of the questioning
- the atmosphere under which the questioning was conducted
- whether the individuals freedom of action or movement was restricted
With regard to whether an individual is in custody the courts in New York
have consistently held that:
- being in handcuffs does not automatically mean that the person is in custody.
- the subjective belief of the police officer or the defendant are not controlling
- whether a person is in custody is a question of fact
What is the definition of an Interrogation?
An "interrogation" is not determined by the subjective intent
of the police but is instead determined by whether an objective person
with the same knowledge as the police would conclude that the remark or
conduct of the police is reasonably likely to elicit a response.
What happens if I am not read my Miranda warnings?
If the police fail to read a person their Miranda warnings and proceed
to interrogate that person then any statement made by that person will
not permitted to be used against them for any purpose. However, there
are exceptions although they are very limited. For example, if the police
are acting in the interests of "public safety" in an emergency
situation, Miranda warnings may not have to be given.
Necessity of Having an Experienced Westchester County Criminal Lawyer
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime in Westchester
County it is absolutely vital for you to retain a
Westchester County Criminal defense lawyer immediately without delay. The Westchester County criminal defense lawyers
at our White Plains firm consist of former criminal prosecutors and we
have over 50 years of combined experience to assist you in protecting
your rights. This includes making sure that your constitutional right
to have Miranda warnings read to you was not violated by the police. Our
firm has a proven and successful record when it comes to challenging whether
statements elicited from our clients by the police were constitutionally
obtained. In many instances they were not. The police are human and they
make mistakes. However, if you do not have an experienced Westchester
County criminal defense lawyer at your side to recognize the police errors,
mistakes can be made by your lawyer as well.
If you are suspected of committing a crime or have been charged with a
misdemeanor or felony crime in Westchester County or surrounding counties
please contact one of our Westchester County criminal defense lawyers
for a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located in the Westchester
County seat of White Plains. Contact us by calling us at (914) 946-4808 or