Criminal defense in California is a complex area of legal practice with numerous misconceptions that are often held as popular belief. The majority of people arrested for their first criminal charge have no experience with the criminal justice system and, therefore, routinely rely on what they’ve seen on television and in movies. Much of what is popularized in TV and film is embellished, which further adds to the myths and misconceptions about the criminal justice system and more specifically, the California criminal justice system. One of the most common myths involves what happens if the police fail to read you your rights.
What is the Miranda warning?
Derived from the landmark United States Supreme Court ruling in the case of Miranda vs. The State of Arizona, the “Miranda Rights” as it has come to be known as are the Constitutional rights you maintain while in police custody. Among your rights, you have the right to an attorney and a right to remain silent. The common misconception among many people is that if the police fail to read them their rights or Miranda warning, it serves as a legal basis for all charges to be dropped. This is not the case as it is not uncommon for police officers to make arrests without reading a suspect his/her rights. The legal technicality with respect to the Miranda warning is simply based on whether you have been placed under arrest and whether the police interrogated you while in their custody. A Miranda violation would exist if you were placed under arrested and questioned by police without first being read your rights. However, if no interrogation or interview is conducted while you’re in police custody, the Miranda rights become a nonissue.