What if the cop who arrested me didn't read me my rights?

Posted by Sean P. CecilMar 12, 20210 Comments

"What if the cop who arrested me didn't read me my rights?"

This is a question that every criminal defense lawyer has heard. Most people whose experience with the so-called criminal justice system is limited to viewing police procedurals (cop dramas) are accustomed to and expect the reading of Miranda rights that accompanies every television arrest. This is normal. The short answer to the question is "it may not matter."
Don't answer questions without your lawyer!
The question of whether Miranda admonitions were timely and accurately given is typically only relevant if the prosecution later seeks to introduce evidence of incriminating statements given in response to a custodial interrogation. If no incriminating statements or admissions were made the issue of whether rights were read is probably moot. A person is "in custody" for the purposes of Miranda under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not feel free to leave and terminate the encounter. Interrogation is broadly defined along the lines of any question or statement by law enforcement that is "reasonably likely to illicit an incriminating response."
Whether or not the arresting officers recited Miranda rights, there is usually an angle to a proper defense. This is true even if there was a confession or alleged admission. We are available to discuss your case, and provide free consultations in North Carolina criminal matters. To schedule a consultation fill out the form in the sidebar, or call me at 919-828-1456 x5.