Does the Miranda warning really work the way you see it on television shows?
In this post, we’ll let you know how the law can be applied in Minnesota laws and what you can do to get help if you believe the police neglected to read your rights during an arrest.
Here are answers to common questions about Miranda rights in Minnesota if you are facing criminal charges.
What are the Miranda Rights?
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1966 Miranda vs. Arizona case that everyone must have certain rights read out loud to them when being arrested. These rights are protected by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects you from making self-incriminating statements. Police are required to read your rights to you before interrogating you after an arrest.
These are the phrases that must be read to you, commonly known as your Miranda rights:
“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. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
For the prosecuting attorney to use your words as evidence against you, these rights must be read to you before you are interrogated.
Are My Charges Dismissed If the Police Didn’t Read My Miranda Rights?
The short answer is no.
If your rights aren’t read to you, the prosecution cannot use your words as evidence. However, circumstantial evidence and witness testimonies can still be used to prosecute you for all kinds of violations under Minnesota laws.
There are exceptions to this rule as well. If you say something that is considered a threat to public safety, the words can be held against you even if your Miranda rights were not read.
When Is a Miranda Warning Required?
Minnesota police must read your Miranda rights before any type of interrogation begins. If you are in police custody, the police must read your rights to you no matter where the interrogation is about to begin. This could be at the scene of the crime, on a public sidewalk, in the street, in a parking lot, in a field, in jail, or anywhere else.
When the police fail to read your rights to you before an interrogation, they forfeit the chance to use what you say against you in a trial.
When Can My Words Be Used Against Me?
If you are not in police custody or under arrest, police can use your words as incriminating evidence against you at any point. Sometimes police intentionally avoid making an arrest to be able to use your words as evidence.
If you hear the police say something like “you are free to go,” know that anything you say can be held against you in court.
Am I Required to Answer a Police Officer’s Questions Before an Arrest?
In most cases, you are not required to answer a police officer’s questions regardless of whether you have been arrested or not. Additionally, you can always claim your right to have an attorney present before you answer questions.
However, if a police officer asks for identification, you are required under the law to present it.
What Questions Should I Answer After My Arrest?
It’s best to answer no questions once you have been arrested, other than providing identifying information. You should consult with an experienced Minnesota defense attorney with a track record of success before offering any information that could incriminate you.
Can I Waive My Miranda Rights After They Have Been Read?
If you wish to speak freely with the police, you can waive your rights. You can also reclaim your rights if you change your mind at any point in the conversation and refuse to answer further questions without the presence of an attorney.
What If the Police Abuse Their Power?
If you believe the police failed to read your rights to you due to harsh and unnecessary punishment, you need to check with a skilled Minnesota attorney as soon as possible to know whether your rights were violated. Police misconduct could very well lead to your charges getting reduced or dropped altogether.
Were Your Miranda Rights Violated in Minnesota?
You may not be sure whether or not your Miranda rights were violated, and this post might not provide all the answers you need. Because of this, it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable Minnesota defense lawyer who will understand how the law applies in your case.
About the Author:
A former prosecutor and lifelong Minnesotan, Christian Peterson has handled hundreds of criminal cases from both sides of the aisle since he began practicing law in 2006, as well as a wide variety of family law matters. This background allows him to look at situations from all angles and anticipate which arguments the other side may use, increasing his clients’ chances of success. His work has been recognized by the American Society of Legal Advocates, the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, and National Trial Lawyers, and he has a perfect 10/10 rating from Avvo.