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Miranda, Right?

"I was arrested for a crime and the police didn't read me my rights.  Can I get my case thrown out?"

This is a common question that people ask when they have been arrested for a crime and the police did not read them "their rights."

The inquiry is based in a misconception from what we all see on television, the media, and in the news.

If you are home on a Saturday night and turn your T.V. onto the show "Cops,"  you will probably see an arrest take place with the suspect being placed in handcuffs and into a police cruiser before being read "their rights":  "You have a right to remain silent.  Anything say can and will be used against you in a court of law.  You have a right to an attorney...".

Consequently, many people believe they are entitled to the same.  Unfortunately, this is a misplaced belief.

Your "Miranda Rights"

These rights that many people consider a guarantee for all people placed under arrest that must be met "or else" -- the case gets thrown out -- are, in fact, a right derived from our constitutions.  And, as most people consider these rights to be significant, they are.

However, how they work for us is where the myths about these rights exist. These rights involve a two-part equation and the result is not an automatic dismissal of the charges in all cases.

Triggering the Right

Miranda Rights are a protection afforded to people when subjected to a "custodial interrogation."

The "custodial" portion of this two-part equation is the one piece that most people focus on -- the arrest or the equivalent of it.

The second part of the equation is an "interrogation" or police questioning post-arrest.

If a person is placed under arrest and subjected to police questioning without being read "Miranda," it could be a violation of "their rights."

The Remedy

If a person's Miranda Rights have been violated, it does not automatically result in the charges being thrown out in all cases.

These rights are in place to protect people placed under arrest and prevent police and prosecutors from using incriminating statements illegally obtained.  Thus, the remedy is focused on illegally obtained statements and it is these statements that would be thrown out where the court finds that a violation of Miranda has occurred.

Experienced PA Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of a crime, contact a qualified Harrisburg Criminal Defense Attorney for a free case assessement.

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