We get a lot of calls from those accused of crimes that include this line "they never read me my rights". Well, while T.V. and movies have ingrained the recitation of these rights into our collective minds, the practice of "reading your rights" is often not important to an individual's case. It is not that the rights given are not important, it is what the remedy for not "reading your rights" that makes them less important to the everyday accused. First the rights only need to be read only if there is a "custodial interrogation", or in other words you are in police custody and they are questioning you. There are several exceptions to the "custodial interrogation" rule, most of which favor law enforcement. Of these exceptions the most commonly encountered are an ongoing emergency and basic information. If either of these exceptions occur then the police do not have to read you your rights, and may question you. Secondly, if you are due a reading of your rights and the police fail to do so then the remedy is not that your case is dismissed, the proper remedy is that whatever you said while you were questioned without the reading of your rights cannot be used against you. In other words, the only effect a failure to Mirandize has is that any statement given cannot be used against you. To sum it all up, you only need to be Mirandized if you are in custody and being questioned, and if the police fail to do so it only protects your statement, nothing else.
This blog is not legal advice, but a general explanation of the law that is not specific to your case, if you have one. If you have questions concerning your rights, a recent police interaction or any other legal issue please contact either General Practice Law Firm or another attorney for a proper application of the law to your case.