On many occasions, clients will complain that police didn't advise them of their rights and believe that this should lead to a dismissal of the case against them. The United States Supreme Court ruled along time ago in Miranda vs. Arizona ago that before a person is questioned by police they must be advised that:
They have a right to speak with an attorney
Anything they say may be used against them in court
If they cannot afford any attorney, one will be appointed to represent them prior to questioning
These warnings have become popularly known as your Miranda rights and people must be advised of them whether they are being investigated for any misdemeanor offense such as assault, any criminal traffic offense such as DUI or any serious felony charge such as aggravated assault or murder.
When Must Police Advise You of Your Rights
You should be aware that police are required to advise you of your Miranda warnings in very limited circumstances. Basically, for Miranda warnings to be required, you must first be "in custody" and then be subject to "interrogation" by law enforcement. Custody has been defined by the courts as a situation where a person's freedom of movement has been restricted by police and they are under a belief that they are not free to leave. This most often occurs when a person has been handcuffed, placed in a police car or taken to a police station and detained there. Courts have generally stated that custody for Miranda purposes does not occur when someone is the subject of roadside questioning by police during a simple traffic stop, when they are being interviewed in the comfort of their home or workplace or when police ask them questions over the telephone. Additionally, if police ask you to voluntarily come to a police station and advise you that you can leave at any time, courts will declare that you were not in custody. Remember, your freedom of movement must be limited and you must reasonably believe that you are unable to leave.
The second issue as to whether Miranda warnings are required is whether you are being interrogated. Interrogation has been defined as questioning by law enforcement that is intended to elicit an incriminating response. To put it simply, introductory questions such as your name, address, birthdate, education level, etc. are not considered interrogation because there is essentially nothing incriminating that can come out of your answers. However, if you are in custody and police begin to ask you about your alleged involvement in a crime such as whether you had a weapon, what you did during an incident, whether you possessed drugs, etc you must first be advised of your rights.
What Happens If Your Miranda Rights Are Violated
If police violate your Miranda rights and a prosecutor tries to use any statements you made against you in court, your lawyer must file a Motion to Suppress in order to have the statements thrown out. Be aware however, even if a court rules in your favor and finds that your Miranda rights have been violated, you can still be prosecuted for the charges. This is because a prosecutor can use other evidence that remains such as witnesses who observed the crime, physical evidence such as recovered property, weapons, drugs, fingerprints and DNA or any other information that points to your guilt. Also, even though the prosecutor cannot use your statements in their own case, they can use any answers you gave police despite the Miranda violations to attack your credibility if you testify at trial. This means statements made by you in violation of your Miranda rights can be used during the prosecutor's cross examination to impeach your testimony at trial.
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If you have been charged with a felony, misdemeanor or DUI offense in Tempe, Phoenix, or any other city within Maricopa or Pinal County, it is vital that you contact a highly skilled criminal lawyer immediately. Tempe DUI and Criminal Defense lawyer Raymond Kimble will recognize available defenses and has been defending people charged with these crimes for many years. Mr. Kimble knows how to prepare a solid defense, challenge the prosecution's evidence and negotiate a reduction or dismissal of the charges
With a seasoned Tempe criminal defense attorney on your case, you will have your rights protected as your attorney fights to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf. Attorney Raymond Kimble has successfully represented hundreds of individuals throughout Arizona over the last twenty years who have been arrested for and charged with criminal and DUI offenses