If police officers questioned you without reading you your Miranda rights, you may wonder: were my Miranda rights violated?
What Are Miranda Rights?
In certain situations — but not all situations — police officers must inform a crime suspect of their rights before questioning them. These rights include:
- Right to remain silent (anything you say can be used against you in court)
- Right to consult with an attorney (if you cannot afford an attorney, the court will provide you one at no cost)
Our St. Petersburg, Florida criminal defense attorney helps clients determine whether their Miranda rights were violated. If they were, we bring motions to suppress your statements and any evidence that resulted from them.
Miranda Right Violations Two-Part Test
Miranda rights are meant to protect your right to an attorney and your right against self incrimination. To determine if you have a Miranda right violation defense, the court applies a two-part test.
Both of the following parts must have happened for Miranda to apply:
1. Custody: First, you must have been in custody. This means that reasonable people would have thought that they were in custody if they were in your situation.
- Examples: If police officers held you against your will, you were likely in custody. Being put in the back of a police car or handcuffed is usually enough.
- Exceptions: However, there are some significant exceptions. For example, a roadside traffic stop is not considered custodial. If you were pulled over for DUI and the police officers asked you questions, they did not need to read you your Miranda rights.
2. Questions or actions designed to elicit incriminating statements: Second, the police officers must have asked you questions about your involvement in the crime or the crime itself.
- Examples: Questions like: "Where did you get these drugs?" or "What were you doing there?" are designed to elicit incriminating statements. Showing you a picture can also elicit an incriminating response.
When Your Miranda Rights Were Violated
If your Miranda rights were violated, our criminal defense lawyer may be able to suppress your statements. We may also be able to suppress any evidence that the officers found as a result of your statements ("fruit of the poisonous tree").
For example: a murder suspect was not read his Miranda rights and he told the officers where the body was. The officers went out and found the body and other evidence. The murder suspect's statement, the body, and the other evidence can all be suppressed.
Your Statements Can Still Be Used Against You
Even though evidence obtained in violation of Miranda rights can be suppressed, do not keep talking. If your statements were freely and voluntarily made, the prosecution can use them to impeach you in court. This means that if you tell the officers you committed a crime and then say you did not commit the crime during trial, the state can use both statements to show that you are not telling the truth.
- All charges dropped. 2 Counts Battery
- Reduced to 3 Counts. Wh/Adj 3 years probation. 5 Counts Possession of Child Pornography
- Reduced to 2 counts. Wh/Adj and probation. 9 Counts - Possession of Child Pornography.
- Not Guilty after Jury Trial Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
- All charges Dropped. Aggravated Assault With Motor Vehicle
- Reduced to Felony Battery, dismissed, sealed. Aggravated Battery
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