Many people mistakenly believe that the police’s failure to give a Miranda warning during the arrest will automatically lead to a case dismissal. The truth is that these situations are more nuanced, and the outcome will depend on the skill of your lawyer and the specific facts of your case. You can get your charges dropped if the police fail to read you your Miranda rights, but only if their failure to do so resulted in an involuntary confession.
The only time to file motions to suppress evidence and to dismiss the charges occur in the early stages of the criminal justice process. Ideally, your Indiana criminal defense lawyer can begin looking into these issues shortly after your arrest, and raise them at your arraignment or preliminary hearing. This means that you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest if you want to use these defenses.
The Police’s Failure to Read Your Miranda Rights Could Mean Your Confession is Invalid
When the police arrest you, they must say the following, “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.” This requirement was established by the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona, which is where the term “Miranda rights” come from.
The police must inform you of your rights to remain silent and to use a lawyer, because the Constitution prohibits the use of involuntary confessions in criminal prosecutions. A confession is involuntary if it is made while you are in custody, in response to questioning, and it is not the result of your free will. United States law assumes that any reasonable and voluntary decision to confess would have to take into account the possibility of remaining silent and calling a lawyer. So, if you confess without being made aware of these rights, it cannot be voluntary.
The legal definition of custody is not always clear. If you’ve been arrested, you’re obviously in police custody. But many other cases hinge on whether the suspect was in custody or not. In general, judges will decide the issue based on whether a reasonable person in your shoes would believe they are not free to leave. So, any time the behavior of the police and the circumstances would make most people believe they are in custody, the court will probably assume that you were in custody for purposes of determining a violation of your rights.
If your defense team believes that you made an involuntary confession to the police, they will fil all of the following:
- The police failed to give you a Miranda warning
- You were placed in custody
- The police interrogated you
- You made an incriminating statement
If successful, the motion to suppress will result in your confession becoming inadmissible in court. If the prosecutor does not have much other evidence against you to use in their case, your lawyer may file a motion to dismiss the charges.
Contact Us Today for Help With Your Criminal Case
Challenging the prosecutor’s evidence by filing a motion to suppress is one of the most effective ways of beating a criminal charge. You can file a motion to suppress for many other reasons besides a failure to be read your Miranda rights. But this defense tactic is only a possibility in the early stages of the criminal justice process, which means that it depends on how soon you call your lawyer.