If the police officer does not read you the Miranda warnings upon arresting you, it does not automatically mean that you are innocent, but it does mean that statements that you make before meeting with a criminal defense lawyer could be inadmissible in court.
Arguing that you did not commit the crime of which you are accused is only one way to defend yourself against criminal charges. In many cases, defendants argue that certain pieces of evidence are not admissible in court. This means that the state did not have the right to obtain the evidence and does not have the right to show it to the jury. Without this evidence, the state may not have convincing evidence against the defendant, and the jury will acquit the defendant. After a judge declares an important piece of evidence inadmissible, it might be so obvious that the prosecution cannot prove your guilt based on its remaining evidence that the court will drop the charges against you. The Atlanta criminal defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam can help you stop the prosecution from using illegally obtained evidence against you in your criminal case.
What are the Miranda Warnings?
The 1966 Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona established that, upon making an arrest, police must notify the person they have arrested of the following statements:
- The right to remain silent and to refuse to answer questions
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in your criminal case
- The right to consult an attorney before and during questioning
- The right to have a court-appointed public defender represent you if you cannot afford to hire a lawyer
The law does not specify the exact wording the officer must use, only that the officer must notify the defendant of these rights.
How Does it Affect Your Case if the Officer Does Not Read the Miranda Warnings?
If you choose to speak to police after your arrest, they can use anything you say as evidence of your guilt, even if you think that you are helping the situation by being honest, and even if you think that the true statements you are giving to police will help establish your innocence. If you have been read the Miranda warnings, the court will assume that you are choosing to speak freely to the police, with the knowledge that they can use everything you say as evidence to convict you. If you have not been read the Miranda warnings, but you speak to police, and prosecutors later use what you said as evidence against you, you can argue that the things you said to the police are not admissible as evidence since the police obtained these statements in violation of your Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. This does not guarantee that you will be acquitted, but it does make it harder to convict you.