11Nov 2016

Miranda Does Have Some Twilight Zones

We are all familiar with the fact that the police must read you your Miranda rights before questioning you. This reminds you that you have the right to remain silent and that you have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. However, there are certain situations where the Supreme Court has ruled that Miranda rights do not need to be read.

In two cases, Berkemer v. McCarty, 468 U.S. 420 (1984) and Harris v. Virginia, 27 Va.App. 554 (1998), the Supreme Court ruled that although during a traffic stop you are not free to leave, the police are not required to read you your Miranda rights. It is very important that you be aware of this and under no circumstances answer questions to the police without consulting a qualified, experienced lawyer.

Also, bear in mind the police do not have to inform you that your silence cannot be used against you. People often think that if they cooperate it will show that they had "nothing to hide." Remember, call a qualified, experienced attorney if you are ever questioned or arrested by the police.