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What if No One Read Me My Rights?

Posted by Kathryn Batey | Oct 29, 2023 | 0 Comments

It's a common question - Television and movies have led us all to believe that anytime a person is arrested, someone, somewhere, is going to read them what most people call "Miranda warnings." These warnings can matter a great deal when you or a loved one made a statement to the police that the prosecutor intends to use against you in a trial. 

What are Miranda Warnings? 

The phrase comes from a 1966 Supreme Court Case, Miranda v. Arizona (384 U.S. 436 (1966)). For the first time, the United States Supreme Court ruled that police officers need to inform people of several specific rights prior to an interrogation. These rights include the right to remain silent, the fact that anything you say might be used against you, and that you are entitled to an attorney before you speak to the police. 

When are the police supposed to tell me these rights? 

Police officers are required to read you these rights BEFORE they question you about a case. If you are in police custody and an officer questions you without properly giving you these warnings, then the statements you made to the officer could potentially be excluded from the evidence in your case. However, there is a lot to argue about whether someone is actually in police custody and whether the questions an officer asks amount to an "interrogation." An experienced defense attorney will need to review the interrogation and understand your unique circumstances, including any language or psychological factors that may have affected your ability to comprehend the warnings. Challenging a statement can even include expert witnesses and may require a defendant to testify about the circumstances surrounding the statement and the Miranda warnings. 

What if I spoke to the police? 

It happens! People often "waive Miranda" and agree to speak to the police even though they have the right to remain silent. Maryland law requires not only that the police correctly read a suspect Miranda warnings but that if a person decides to speak to the police, it's something they decide voluntarily. This means that the individual made their statement without coercion, duress, or any undue influence. Additionally, Maryland courts require that a person understand the consequences of waiving their rights and fully understand the nature of the interrogation. At Safe Harbor Criminal Defense, we are dedicated to exploring whether any statements you or a loved one made to the police were made voluntarily, knowingly, and that the police officers followed the proper procedure for the interrogation. When those things do not happen, we fight to challenge any and all statements that the police gathered improperly. 

What if I didn't make any statements to the police? 

Great work! There may be many other things to challenge in your case, but the validity of Miranda warnings and their waivers only apply to statements taken by the police. 

Contact Us Today!

Miranda waivers in Maryland are often a pivotal aspect of your legal defense and we take your role as your advocates seriously. By diligently navigating the complexities of Miranda waivers, we strive to protect your rights and provide you with the best possible defense. Contact us today at 240-200-4077 to schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation. 

About the Author

Kathryn Batey

Kathryn Batey, the owner and firm practioner, has spent the entirety of her legal career defending clients against the justice system.  Kathryn graduated from American University's Washington College of law in 2012 and went to work immediately for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, where...


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