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Miranda Rights

Our advice right from the get go is “Never, Never, Never, talk openly about an investigation or case to any Police Officer, investigator or Detective” You should always be cooperative. But cooperative does not mean tell your story. DO always request your right to remain silent and to have an attorney present.

We at McNamara & McNamara are very well versed in this matters. We understand that human nature is such that you may want to explain this whole misunderstanding away. On your belief this will make the investigation, or your being a suspect go away. We also know you do not necessarily want to spend money for an attorney, and you think you can explain it away all on your own. I will just tell my side of the story. This action alone has resulted in more convictions, right or wrong, than the judicial system care to reveal.

If this information has not yet convinced you to REMAIN SILENT, ask yourself the following question(s):

  • How much would I pay to stay out of County Jail?
  • How much will a bail bond cost me if I say the wrong thing or they just do not believe me?
  • How will I make such arrangements to get out on bail?
  • What if I say something that latter convicts me?

What are Miranda Rights anyways? :

The “Miranda Warning” is a police warning which is given to criminal suspects who are in the custody of law enforcement in the United States before they can ask questions regarding what took place during the crime.

The ways in which law enforcement gets away from, or around “Mirandizing” a suspect is skilled and plentiful. The investigators will get beyond this by writing in police reports things like “you spontaneously stated...” Also, they say that at the time of speaking with you either (a) you were not arrested only detained; or (b) they were only asking you questions for a lawful stop, or inquiry of you. Also, perhaps over the phone they took your statement.

Bottom line, when law enforcement does stop you they can only ask for specific information such as name, date of birth and address without having to read the suspects their Miranda warnings. Therefore, anything said beyond that they can used as against you. Confessions and other information that you provide them will not make up admissible evidence unless you have been made aware of and waived your "Miranda rights". But remember “only if” you were arrested at the time. Thus, as stated above a phone call by a detective asking you questions, and gather information can and will be used against you. So be cooperative but do not answer any questions beyond the above general information noted and be cooperative in this regard only.

The actual Miranda Rights are:

The wording used when a person is read the Miranda Warning, also known as being ‘Mirandized,’ is clear and direct:

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

The Miranda warnings were mandated by the 1966 United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Miranda v. Arizona as to protect a criminal suspect's Fifth Amendment right to help avoid self-incrimination during police interrogation. This was once referred to as undergoing the ‘third degree.’

You still have other related questions about Miranda, such as:

Can I waive my rights after they have been read to me? The officer will offer you the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney if you wish to have one present. You can waive these rights, if you wish, and speak freely with the police.

If you have been Mirandized and you waive your rights, meaning you wish to speak to police freely without an attorney present, you can change your mind at any time and ‘plead the fifth,’ meaning you no longer wish to answer questions, or state that you have changed your mind and wish to have an attorney present after all.

If I am arrested and an officer fails to read me my rights, will my charges automatically be dismissed? If you are arrested and the officer failed to read you the Miranda Warning, we at McNamara & McNamara will certainly vigorously use this lapse in procedure to attempt to get your charges dismissed. However, if there is overwhelming evidence that you committed a crime, and the officer did not need to rely on your answers to questions in order to convict you of that crime, there is a good possibility that your conviction will stand.

A police officer stopped me and asked questions, but did not read me my Miranda Rights. Is this legal? Any officer has the right to ask you questions; you have the right to politely decline to answer. If the officer asks to see your driver’s license or proof of insurance, you may not refuse to provide those and then ‘plead the fifth,’ meaning you want to invoke your Fifth Amendment rights and not cooperate. When you sign the forms for accepting a driver’s license, you are giving the police permission to ask you for these documents upon request, and you are acknowledging that you will cooperate when asked.

An officer must only read you the Miranda Warning if he or she plans on using your answers as evidence at a trial. Therefore, in many instances you may be stopped and asked questions without being read those rights. You have the right to politely refuse, but the officer may then decide to arrest you for breaking the law in another area, such as loitering (which is a law that can be broadly interpreted so that police can use this as a reason for arrest if they suspect someone is involved in criminal activity).

I know I’m entitled to have an attorney present or consult with an attorney before I answer a police officer’s questions if I am arrested, but I can’t afford an attorney. What can I do to protect my rights? In the Miranda Warning, one of the statements is that an attorney will be provided for you if you do not have one. You will be assigned a public defender by the courts.

I was asked to go to the police station to answer questions, but I don’t want to do that. No one read me my Miranda Rights – do I have to go and answer questions? If you receive a request to go to the police station to answer questions, or if the police come to you and ask you questions, you do not have to answer them and can politely decline. You can assume, though, that if the police really want to talk to you, they will come up with ‘probable cause’ and either arrest you (requiring that you be read the Miranda Warning) or will get a search warrant if they feel you are in possession of evidence that a crime has been committed.

Consult an attorney first ALWAYS!

While the attorney’s at McNamara & McNamara understand that it is difficult not to tell you side of the story to an investigator. Our experience is that it rarely helps the situation from your perspective i.e. to prevent a criminal filing. Always consult with an attorney before going to the police, discussing with the Police and/or any investigative offices about an ongoing investigation. One simple phone call can make the difference in your case.

If you or a loved one was arrested recently, or is facing a criminal matter, please take the time necessary to either calling us ASAP, or fill out the contacting section to connect you with a dedicated defense attorney now.

Please also be forewarned, certain clients who do not follow the above advice are forced to deal with more drastic consequences. However, a qualified attorney will be the best person to guide you through these choices and this very important stage of the criminal case.


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