In the state of SC do they have to read you your right to arrest you for the offense of Mal. Injury to Real Property? The charge is falsely accused.

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In the state of SC do they have to read you your right to arrest you for the offense of Mal. Injury to Real Property? The charge is falsely accused.

I was arrested for a warrant signed 2 years ago for a charge I am totally innocent of. I was accused of spray painting obscenities on a building. I can not understand how I can be arrested for something with absolutely not proof. I asked the judge if I can sue for this reason, she told me I can but could not advise me. She told me to seek an attorney, and I am.

Asked on June 17, 2009 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are a few issues at play here.  First, whether or not you were read your rights usually only becomes relevant if you said or did something incriminating after the officers failed to read you your rights.  Failure to read miranda rights, on its own, is not a basis for dismissal of criminal charges.  Since you have said that there is no evidence in this case, whether or not the police read you your miranda rights does not appear to be relevant.  Second, with respect to your arrest, you must remember distinction between the "probable cause" necessary to arrest and the "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" necessary to convict.  The second is a much higher standard of proof.  Therefore, there may have been enough evidence arrest, but not enough to convict.  Nevertheless, in order to even have a chance to sue the officers who arrested you you must first have your charges unequivocally dismissed or found not guilty.  Failure to do so will prevent you from bringing a civil rights action, because the unfavorable resolution of your case will serve as a complete defense to potential civil rights action.  If and when your charges are resolved favorably (which should not be difficult if there is, as you say, absolutely no evidence) you should consult with a civil rights attorney who will be able to advise you, based on the unique facts of your case, whether you may have a claim sounding in (including but not limited to) false arrest and/or malicous prosecution.


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