Everybody has watched enough TV crime shows to have heard that “reading your rights” should happen at every arrest, and if the police officer didn’t “read the one arrested their rights,” the case would be thrown out of court
Potential clients often ask this question and first offenders think that their case will be overturned because of Hollywood, but 99 percent of the time, reciting the Miranda Rights is not necessary.
The Miranda Warning comes from a Supreme Court case in 1966 that ruled that if a person is arrested and the police want to further interrogate, they must be reminded of two rights: 1) the right to remain silent and 2) the right to an attorney.
In the movies, it sounds like “you have the right to remain silent. Everything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed.”
Real Life Arrests
The reason the Miranda Warning is not required 100 percent of the time is because the law states that the rights need only be given before an interrogation, not before every arrest. In most arrests, the arresting officer has enough probable cause that they don’t need to ask any more about the crime.
An interrogation occurs when the suspect is already in custody, and the authorities want to obtain more information that would bring incriminating answers, such as where did you hide the murder weapon? A traffic officer asking for your ID and registration is not an interrogation.