Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”
Getting detained and arrested by the police can be a traumatic experience. The situation often happens rather quickly and only later do you begin to think about how the incident unfolded. While most people understand that they have constitutional rights, they often forget about them completely when they are under the stress of being detained or questioned by law enforcement. When you watch television crime shows you may notice that when someone is arrested without their rights having been read, the judge might throw the entire case out. Although this happens on fictional programs, it is not what usually occurs in real life.
What is the Miranda Warning?
The Miranda warning is a list of constitutional rights that are most commonly in place during an arrest. The law requires law enforcement officials to read your rights before they proceed with questioning while in custody. Specifically, the Miranda warnings include:
- The right to remain silent
- The right to consult with an attorney before questioning
- The right to have your attorney present during questioning
- The right to a court appointed attorney (if you cannot afford an attorney)
- Reminder that anything you say can be used in a court of law
The police typically read you the Miranda warning at the time of arrest. Today, many police officers wear body cameras, so you can more easily find proof that the police read you your rights. The Miranda warning is designed to ensure that people understand their rights before they talk to police.
When Must the Police Read the Miranda Warning to Me?
Miranda rights are inherent in your constitutional rights however, citizens are not expected to automatically know this information. Law enforcement must read you the Miranda warning under specific circumstances when they make an arrest. Many times, officers carry a list of Miranda rights so they will not forget to include any portion of the warning. Any time the police want to ask you questions after putting you into custody, the officer should make sure that you know and understand your rights. This gives you the choice to speak with the police if you like. Keep in mind that what you say to the police can and will be used in court, so it is usually best to protect your rights.
The Police Did Not Give Me Miranda Warnings, Now What?
Many people assume that if the police do not issue Miranda warnings to a suspect before arrest, the entire case will be dropped. While you may want to be free of all charges, that is not what will happen if Miranda warnings were not given. If you were not read your rights it may be because you were not questioned by police. The police must make sure that you know your right to remain silent and to have an attorney present for questioning. However, if the police do not intend on questioning you, they will not need to read your rights. So, in some cases, the police did not do anything wrong by not reading your rights.
If you were not given your rights, any information or evidence obtained during questioning may not be admissible in court. Your attorney will review the matter and take steps to correct any problems. If necessary, your lawyer will file a motion to suppress evidence or statements that were gathered illegally. This means that the statements you made could be excluded from the case. Remember that these statements may not be the only evidence against you in the case and therefore, it may not make any difference to the outcome.
If you are facing criminal charges, contact our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for an initial consultation to discuss your case.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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