Posted on July 1, 2016
Miranda Rights Explained | Orange County Criminal Lawyer
A common misconception is that a police officer must always admonish you for your Miranda rights. To be clear, a police officer need only admonish you of your Miranda rights if you were subject to custodial interrogation. If you were subjected to custodial interrogation and the police failed to advise you of your Miranda rights, then your statements will be deemed inadmissible against you. It will not result in dismissing your case unless the government is relying heavily upon your statements to prove their case.
The term custodial is a formal word for “custody.” The first issue is whether you were in custody. In other words, would a reasonable person your situation not feel free to leave. Incredibly, California case law is clear that if you were pulled over by a police officer, although you are being detained, you are not within the definition of “Miranda custody.” A common example of being in custody is you being placed in handcuffs sitting on the curb. Although you have not been formally arrested, a reasonable person would not feel free to leave.
The next element is whether the police officer engaged in a line of questioning reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response or the functional equivalent. Moreover, was the police officer specifically questioning you in an effort that you give incriminating statements? If so, then you are being subjected to “interrogation.”
However, if you gave an admission would being asked a question or you spontaneously made a statement, then you will not be deemed as being interrogated and thus your statement will be admissible against you.
Your statements to a police officer can be the most damaging evidence against you in criminal prosecution. Therefore, it’s always in your best interest not to give a statement to police officers. If the police are seeking to question you, simply state that you will not give a statement without a lawyer present.
For more information about your Miranda rights, contact Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer John Rogers at the Law Offices of John Rogers.