What can I do if I wasn’t read my Miranda rights if was arrested and charged with illegal possesion of a weapon and terroristic threats?

UPDATED: May 21, 2012

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What can I do if I wasn’t read my Miranda rights if was arrested and charged with illegal possesion of a weapon and terroristic threats?

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


Jason Ostendorf / Law Ofice of Jason Ostendorf

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The Miranda rights issues are often turn on specific detailed facts.  Generally, the police do not need to read you the Miranda rights if you are not in custody (i.e., if they speak with you in your home when you are not in handcuffs).  However, once you are placed in custody (i.e., handcuffs, or a police car) they must read you your Miranda rights.

If the police did not read you the Miranda rights AFTER you were in "custody", then whatever you said during that time will probably be ruled inadmissible in court.  However, the prosecutor is allowed to proceed with the trial and there is nothing wrong with the charges.  In other words, although a constitutional right, the Miranda rights are basically just a rule of evidence.

Given how Miranda issues turn on very specific facts, you should speak with some criminal lawyers.  If you go to court, and the judge lets in any statements you made while in custody BEFORE the Miranda rights were read, then if you lose at trial you will have good grounds to retain a lawyer who handles appeals.

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