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What if you did not read your Miranda rights?

At the Law Office of William Luse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina we have found that many people are under the impression that if they've been arrested but haven't been read their Miranda rights, they can't be convicted of the charges.


Wrong.


If law enforcement neglects to issue a suspect their Miranda warning, the suspect can still be found guilty of the crime; however, anything the suspect says under questioning will be rendered null and void.


If a person is in custody, police must inform them of their Miranda rights, if they want to question them and use their responses as evidence. It doesn't matter if the location is in a jail, on the street, or in a hot air balloon. One exception would be a person blurting out "I'm guilty of (fill in the blank)!" before the police had a chance to state the warning (not likely, but possible). If a person is not in custody, no Miranda warning is required and any statement uttered by them may be used at trial.


It's advisable for a person who feels they're a potential suspect to remain tight-lipped about a matter at hand and contact an attorney.


There are some exceptions to the Miranda warning issuance. Although the U.S. Constitution guarantees a "right of silence," those who are questioned for loitering are required to give information to the police officer(s) identification and explanation of one's actions. Refusal to do so constitutes a crime. There are various other exceptions as well, such as traffic stops.


Basically, without a Miranda warning, nothing a person says while in custody can be used at trial. Even after a warning, police officers are not permitted to coerce a person to answer through psychological or physical force. A suspect must volunteer the information.


Contact an attorney if you feel your Miranda rights have been violated.

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