Category

Miranda Rights

Miranda Rights - Michigan Criminal Defense

What if I’m not given Miranda Rights?

By | blog post, Criminal Defense Detroit MI, Miranda Rights | No Comments

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a Court of Law.” Many of us recognize this statement as the beginning of the “Miranda Rights.” As established in the United States Supreme Court case Miranda v Arizona. The Miranda Rights must be read to someone before being questioned by the police. The court case established that statements made by a suspect are admissible in a court of law only if the suspect was made aware of their legal rights while in custody.

If you were recently arrested and were not read your Miranda Rights, it is vital that you share this information with your attorney. If the arresting officer did not recite your Miranda Rights during arrest, your lawyer can attempt to keep any incriminating statements you made out of the courtroom. If you are currently facing charges on a misdemeanor or felony offense, you should have the best legal representation possible. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is one of the most trusted legal teams in Michigan, with a proven track record of success.

What are my Miranda rights?

The Miranda Right can be broken down into four parts; the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in court, you have the right to an attorney during questioning, and the right to a court-appointed attorney if you cannot afford one. Many citizens are unaware of their rights. Individuals who are familiar with their legal rights are often times caught up with the emotional distress of being arrested that they either don’t remember if they were read their Miranda Rights, under what circumstances, and at what time throughout the arrest process. Hiring a seasoned attorney will help you form a pragmatic, methodic defense.

Top Rated Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Police officers often take shortcuts when it comes to informing suspects of their rights. In a recent case, a suspect was advised he had the right to an attorney but the officer did advise the defendant that he had the right to an attorney “during questioning.” The Supreme Court found the Miranda warning to be invalid and suppressed the incriminating statement. Without a top criminal defense lawyer, this small nuance would have been missed and this defendant would be in prison.

What is the law concerning Miranda Rights?

When are you supposed to be read your miranda rights? Under the law, “Miranda Rights” must be read if you are to be asked any questions by police while in custody. If an officer has approached you on the street and engages you in conversation or pulls you over for a routine traffic stop, Miranda Rights will not be read. The moment you are handcuffed by an officer and/or placed in a cop car, you should be read “Miranda Rights” if the officer intends to question you. If you are in custody and a detective attempts to ask questions, he has to give Miranda Rights or any answers given will not be admissible in court. There are scenarios where Miranda Rights do not apply.

What should I do if asked questions by the police?

You should immediately invoke your right to remain silent and demand an opportunity to hire a lawyer. If there is any reason to talk to the police, that is a decision that can be made at a later time and with expert legal counsel. There is no rush to talk to the police! In the event an officer makes a threat to keep someone in jail unless they talk, this is even more of a reason not to trust the officer and to demand a lawyer. If you are read Miranda Rights, the best course of action is to not speak to police.

Should you talk to the police if you are not guilty?

No! The sad reality is that police are not seeking to find the truth, they are attempting to build a case. In addition to the words you might use when answering questions, ever gesture, eye movement, nod of your head, and the tone of your voice will be scrutinized. Even though you may deny involvement in a crime, the officer may say you acted suspicious or nervous or that you made inconsistent statements. In many cases, an officer can misinterpret an innocent answer or, worse, lie about something a suspect said while in custody. Think about it, the Miranda warning is that anything you say, “can and will” be used against you. Never talk to the police alone!

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Protecting and Defending the Accused

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is one of the top legal defense teams in Michigan and stands ready to defend your freedom in state and/or federal court. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you. We will find a way to help you.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

What Happens if Police Do Not Read you Miranda Rights?

By | Miranda Rights | No Comments

Many people believe that if they are arrested and not “read their rights” they can escape punishment. This is not true.

If the police fail to read a suspect their Miranda rights, the prosecutor cannot use the suspect’s answers to questions while under arrest as evidence against the suspect at trial. However, as with nearly all legal rules, there are exceptions.

Miranda Rights - Michigan Criminal Defense

What are Miranda Rights?

These are Miranda rights that are familiar to most people who watch TV police shows. Upon the arrest of a suspect they are read:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • If you say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have that lawyer present during questioning.
  • If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you at public expense.
  • If you choose to speak to a police officer, you have the right to stop the interview at any time.

When are Miranda Warnings Required

It does not matter if are you in a jail, at the crime scene, on busy street, or in an open field, when you are being interrogated, if you are in custody (not free to leave or deprived of freedom of movement in a significant way), you must be read your Miranda warnings if they want to question you and use your answers as evidence in court.

If you are not in police custody, no Miranda warnings are required and anything you say can be used in court.

Avoid Jail - Call us Today

Pre-Arrest Questioning

If you have not been arrested, the police may question you and use your answers in court without first giving Miranda warnings. If you have reason to believe that you are a potential suspect in a crime, you should politely decline to answer questions, at least until after consulting with an attorney.

Post-Arrest Questioning

It is never a good idea to speak to police after you have been arrested, at least until after you have spoken with an attorney.

Consequences of Failing to Provide Miranda Warnings

If no Miranda warnings are given, nothing you say in response to custodial questioning can be used as evidence against you at trial. Additionally, if the police find evidence as a result of the Miranda warning violation, that evidence is deemed inadmissible too. That is called “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”. A good defense lawyer will file a Motion to Suppress and seek that the illegally seized evidence be thrown out of court!

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

We are Experts in Issues Relating to Miranda Warnings

The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. practice exclusively criminal law and are recognized experts in the field. They are constantly educating themselves to keep abreast of the frequent changes in the criminal law. If you are being charged with a felony or misdemeanor offense and there are potential constitutional rights violations or possible Miranda warning violations, it is important that you let a criminal law expert evaluate your situation. Please contact the attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 with any questions you may have, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Age of a Suspect Must Be Considered Before Interrogation by the Police

By | Miranda Rights | No Comments

The Michigan State Police Department recently issued a legal update wherein they advised their troopers that age must be considered when determining whether to give Miranda warnings to a juvenile suspect.

Juveniles and Miranda Rights

In J.D.B. v. North Carolina, J.D.B. was a 13- year-old, seventh-grade student suspected of breaking and entering and larceny. J.D.B. was removed from class and interviewed at his school in a closed-door conference room by two police officers and two school administrators. Before beginning the interview, the officers did not give him Miranda warnings, the opportunity to call his legal guardian, or tell him he was free to leave the room. J.D.B. was interrogated about the crimes, and he confessed his involvement. After J.D.B. confessed, an officer advised him that he could refuse to answer further questions and that he was free to leave. Asked whether he understood, J.D.B. nodded and provided further information regarding the crimes and a written statement.

Miranda Rights - Michigan Criminal Defense

Two juvenile petitions were filed against J.D.B., charging him with breaking and entering and larceny. J.D.B.’s attorney moved to suppress his statements and the evidence located as a result of those statements, arguing J.D.B. was interrogated while in custody without being read his Miranda warnings; therefore, his statements were involuntary. The trial court denied the motion to suppress, stating J.D.B. was not in custody at the time of the interrogation and that his statements were voluntary. J.D.B. was adjudicated delinquent and later appealed.

The U. S. Supreme Court reviewed the test for custody

Whether a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would believe he or she was free to leave. The Court noted, in some circumstances, a reasonable child subjected to police questioning will feel pressured to answer questions even though a reasonable adult would feel free to go. The Court held that so long as a child’s age was known to the officer at the time of questioning, or would have been objectively apparent to a reasonable officer, the child’s age must be included as part of the custody analysis. In addition, the Court noted this does not mean the child’s age will be a significant factor in every case, but it must be included in the analysis.

Officers are required to consider a juvenile suspect’s age in determining whether Miranda warnings must be given to a juvenile during an interrogation. Additionally, officers are reminded to properly advise all in-custody suspects of their Miranda warnings before questioning.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Here is the big question…Why not just give Miranda every time a person is arrested or in custody?

Virtually every client that I’ve represented…and that’s thousands by the way…point out to me that he or she were not given Miranda warnings. People just don’t realize that generally, Miranda warnings are only given on television and in the movies. The only time that police are required to give Miranda warnings is when a suspect is in custody and being questioned, AKA interrogated. Custody is defined as whether a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would believe he or she was free to leave. Courts bend over backward to say this “reasonable person” standard was not met by defendants in evidentiary hearings. What are the police so afraid of? Obviously, they are afraid of the constitution and liberty, which is why they don’t advise someone of their right to have a lawyer. If they weren’t concerned that they were doing something wrong, manipulative or deceptive, they wouldn’t care if there was a lawyer present.

The fact is that many of the cases that I beat at trial by getting a charge reduced or a client found not guilty is because the police and prosecutors cheated, hid evidence, created evidence or manipulated witness testimony. If everyone would just do their job ethically and according to the rules, the system would work the way it was intended. We know that the jails hold many wrongfully convicted people and many people who are guilty go free. The ration of wrong calls by juries as compared to accurate verdicts would be reduced drastically if law enforcement (police, prosecutors, and courts) would consistently follow the rules.

Until that time, the defense team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will work tirelessly to expose the lies, manipulations, and deception occasionally used by law enforcement officer, in their passionate and zealous effort to protect their clients.  Call us today at (248) 263-6800.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Know your Miranda Rights

By | Miranda Rights | No Comments

When do the police give Miranda rights?

Virtually every person who calls LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. because they were arrested for a misdemeanor or felony offense, believes that if they were not “read their rights,” then the charges have to be dismissed. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding of the law was created by television and movies and it does not accurately reflect the state of the law in the United States or Michigan. It is important to know your Miranda Rights.

Miranda Rights - Michigan Criminal Defense

Basically, the truth is that if the police fail to read a suspect, who is in custody, his or her Miranda rights, the prosecutor can’t use that person’s answers to police questioning (AKA interrogation) as evidence against the suspect at trial.

What Are Miranda Rights?

Popularly known as the Miranda warning (ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona), a defendant’s rights consist of the familiar litany invoked by TV police immediately upon arresting a suspect:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have that lawyer present during any questioning.
  • If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.
  • If you choose to talk to the police officer, you have the right to stop the interview at any time.

When the Miranda Warning Is Required

If a person is in custody, the police must read them their Miranda rights if they want to question the suspect if they want to use the suspect’s answers as evidence at trial. Custody doesn’t necessarily mean in jail. Custody means when a person’s liberty is substantially impaired.

If a person is not in police custody, however, no Miranda warning is required and anything the person says can be used at trial if the person is later charged with a crime. This is true even if the person answers the questions of the police.

Top Rated Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Responding to Questions Before an Arrest

A police officer generally cannot arrest a person simply for failure to respond to questions. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the “right of silence.” This means that unless a police officer has “probable cause” to make an arrest or a “reasonable suspicion” to conduct a “stop and frisk,” a person approached by the police officer has the legal right to refuse to answer questions. Indeed, a person who has reason to believe that he or she is a potential suspect should politely decline to answer questions, at least until after consulting an attorney. The best possible thing to say is, “I respectfully decline to answer your questions. I invoke my right to remain silent. I am requesting an attorney.”

Arrested for a Crime in Michigan

The right to remain silent does not protect a person who gives a false name or other false information to the police. You can remain silent but lying to the police is a crime in Michigan.

Questioning After the Arrest

Never speak to the police or answer questions after an arrest. Period.

Suspects all too frequently unwittingly reveal information that can later be used as evidence of their guilt. People frequently try to justify their cooperation with police questioning by saying they had done nothing wrong or that they thought it would look suspicious if they remained silent. This being said, more than half of the criminal cases charged in Michigan would disappear if people kept their mouths shut.

We all know that people often hear what they want to hear. Police are no different and frequently misinterpret (or twist) an innocent statement into an inculpatory statement. Even when an inculpatory statement is not made, police often look more for minor inconsistencies or minor errors in facts which are later used to show that a person was “dishonest.” Worse yet, when everything else fails, police will say that a person was nervous when answering questions and appeared to be dishonest or evasive. The bottom line is that talking with the police ALWAYS works out very badly for the suspect.

Avoid Jail - Call us Today

Consequences of Failure to Provide Miranda Warning

Without a Miranda warning, nothing a person says in response to a custodial questioning can be used as evidence against the person at his or her trial. Any answers to custodial interrogation, without Miranda, are subject to suppression. In addition, under the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine, if the police find evidence as a result of an interrogation that violates the Miranda rule, that evidence may also be inadmissible at trial.

Criminal Defense Lawyers – Constitutional Attorneys

If you are suspected by law enforcement of committing a felony or misdemeanor offense, if a warrant has been issued for your arrest or if you have been charged with a crime, please call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you. We are not afraid to win and we will find a way to help you.

Get Help Now

“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.