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When do the police have to give a Miranda Warning?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Criminal Defense

The phrase “You have the right to remain silent…” followed by a string of additional information is a mainstay of every cop show and movie in the United States. It rolls off the tongue of every arresting officer the moment they get out the handcuffs and take a suspect into custody.

The only problem is that reality is a bit different than fiction. If all you know about your Miranda Rights or a Miranda Warning is what you see on TV, you could make some serious mistakes. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:

The police only have to give you a Miranda Warning under certain conditions

Miranda Warnings are only required to be issued when both of the following are true:

  • You are in custody (not free to leave)
  • You are being interrogated with questions designed to elicit information about a crime

If the police arrest you on suspicion of murder, for example, and they want to question you to try to get more information or evidence for their case, a Miranda Warning would be required before the interrogation starts. Otherwise, anything you say during that interrogation would probably be considered inadmissible in court.

On the other hand, if a police officer pulls you over for weaving in traffic, you nearly fall out of the vehicle because you’re inebriated and you blow a 0.12% on a Breathalyzer test, the officer may not issue the Miranda Warning when you’re arrested because they have no need to interrogate you.

If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of a crime, it can pay to determine if proper procedures were followed or your rights were violated. Find out more with the help of experienced defense guidance.