We’ve all heard Miranda warnings from TV — “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you,” etc. But what they mean for your case can be confusing.
If you don’t get Miranda warnings, this doesn’t mean you automatically win your case. In some cases, you don’t even have to get Miranda warnings before you speak.
When are Miranda Warnings Required?
Miranda warnings are only required during “custodial interrogations.” This means you have to basically be under arrest, and the officer has to be asking you questions.
You don’t have to get Miranda warnings during traffic stops, for example, like if you’re doing field sobriety tests. You also don’t have to be given Miranda warnings when police aren’t asking questions, such as if you say something spontaneously.
What Happens if I Don’t Get Miranda Warnings When They’re Required?
If you don’t get Miranda warnings, this doesn’t always mean you win your case, even if they were required. It only means your statements in response to police questions are inadmissible at trial, meaning the State can’t introduce them against you if your case goes to trial.
Even if you confessed to the crime, for example, the State would not be able to mention it at trial if they violated Miranda.
Miranda warnings is a complicated area of law, and there are a lot of subtleties. If you think your case may have a Miranda issue, be sure to contact an experienced lawyer. I’d be glad to help. If you need a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for you, call me now and set up a consultation at (617) 295-7500.