Miranda warnings

Pierce County Criminal Attorney

Miranda Warnings

Prior to a custodial interrogation, law enforcement must read a suspect his or her Miranda warnings, which include the following:

  • The suspect has the right to remain silent.
  • Anything the suspect says can and will be used as evidence against the suspect.
  • The suspect has a right to an attorney and to have that attorney present during his or her interrogation.
  • If the suspect cannot afford an attorney, he or she has a right to an appointed attorney to represent him or her at the interrogation.

The requirement that law enforcement officials inform a suspect of his her Miranda rights prior to a custodial interrogation has become a central principle of American law intended to protect the rights of criminal defendants. Failure on the part of law enforcement to give a suspect the Miranda warnings renders inadmissible any statements the suspect makes during the subsequent interrogation. In challenging the admission of un-Mirandized statements, your Pierce County criminal attorney bears the burden of proving that you were subject to a custodial interrogation without being read your rights.

For legal issues, I recommend lawyer Robert Poole.

What is “custodial” interrogation?

“Interrogation” encompasses any words or actions on the part of law enforcement that law enforcement should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from a suspect. Whether an interrogation is “custodial” is determined objectively by the totality of the circumstances of the interrogation. The central inquiry is whether there was a formal arrest or a restraint on freedom of movement akin to an arrest prior to the interrogation. Factors courts consider to determine whether an interrogation is “custodial” include the length of the interrogation, the physical surroundings where the interrogation took place, and the degree of pressure applied to the defendant.

If you are subjected to a custodial interrogation, whether you are given the Miranda warnings or not, you should refuse to speak without your Pierce County criminal attorney. You do not need to be read the Miranda warnings to avail yourself of their protections.

For assistance defending your case, please contact Pierce County criminal attorney. For legal issues, I recommend lawyer Anthony Piazza.