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Miranda Warnings And Television

Television shows are probably a bad way to get information about anything, unless you’re watching National Geographic. Even “reality shows” are scripted. They are definitely a bad way to get any kind of legal advice. The Law and Order type shows do a disservice to those who have been arrested and charged with a crime. There is a belief that what happens on TV equates to what the Constitution and laws of the states actually provide for.

When you watch someone being arrested on television, inevitably they are being read their Miranda Rights at the same time the handcuffs are being put on. There seems to be a perception that if that does not happen, the case will be dismissed. Unfortunately, that is not true.

Miranda is required to be read when two conditions are met: the individual is in custody and subject to interrogation by a member of law enforcement. The term “custody” refers almost always to an arrest. However, there are occasions when an individual may be in custody without actually having been arrested. The term “interrogation” is a little more nuanced.

Interrogation happens when an individual is being questioned about an incident. If you are a suspect in a crime and an officer is questioning you about what you know about the crime that is considered to be interrogation. However, if you have been arrested and the officer is asking you questions relating to your personal information or relevant to bail, that is not considered interrogation. If the individual offers information to the officer, that would not be subject to Miranda warnings.

If you have been arrested an officer does not need to read Miranda after the arrest in order to go through the booking process. In order to ask you questions relating to the events that lead to the arrest, however, the officer would have to read you Miranda. The consequences of the officer’s failure to advise you of your Miranda rights does not lead to a dismissal of the case. It may result in any such statements that you provided to the officer being suppressed.

If you need more information on your Miranda Rights, contact Seufert Law Offices and find out more.