Law enforcement did not read me my rights, will the case get thrown out?

 

“Hello, I am Senior Attorney David Faulkner with Brandon Legal Group. People who have been arrested often ask, ‘Law enforcement did not read me my rights. Will the case get thrown out?’

You have all heard it on television. Law enforcement reading someone their rights-

  • 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 consult with an attorney prior to questioning and to have one present with you during questioning
  • if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you
  • if you answer questions, you have the right to stop at any time

 

But what if your rights aren’t read to you? What then? Law enforcement has the obligation to advise you of your rights if they are going to engage in custodial interrogation. Interrogation simply means asking you the who, what, where, when, how, and why of an alleged criminal offense. The tricky part is whether or not you are in custody. Custody means when law enforcement has restrained your freedom of movement to the degree associated with formal arrest. So what sorts of actions would a reasonable person associate with being formally arrested? Things like being placed in handcuffs, being locked in the back of a police car, having law enforcement use physical force to restrain you, telling you that you’re under arrest- those sorts of law enforcement actions. It is not a mere loss of freedom of movement, so your typical traffic stop for speeding would generally not be a custodial event, even though you could not just simply drive off without being in a lot of trouble.

If law enforcement does not advise you of your rights, it doesn’t mean that the case will just go away, rather it means any statements you might have made during custodial interrogation without benefit of having been told your rights simply cannot be used against you in the State’s primary case.

So what is very important to remember is don’t talk to law enforcement about your alleged criminal conduct without the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side. If law enforcement wants to talk to you, don’t go it alone. As a former prosecutor, former FBI special agent, licensed private investigator, and having practiced for over 22 years, I can assist you in dealing with law enforcement with the goal being to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.”

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