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Can a Case Be Dismissed If Your Rights Aren’t Read?

December 4, 2019

Depending on the facts of your case, a failure to read rights can lead to a dismissal of the case against you.

Can a Case Be Dismissed If Your Rights Aren’t Read?Most Americans have a basic familiarity with the Miranda warnings. Even if you don’t know the name, you are likely familiar with what the police are supposed to say if you are arrested from watching TV, reading books, or seeing movies. The general script is something like this: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything that you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney…”

But what happens if the police don’t give you the Miranda warnings? Can the case against you be dismissed if your rights aren’t read? According to an experienced criminal lawyer Rancho Cucamonga, CA, the answer to that question will depend on the facts of the case.

First, it is important to know that you are not entitled to a Miranda warning every time that you encounter the police. Law enforcement officers only have to read you your rights if a government agent conducts an interrogation while you are in custody. If all of these factors are not true in a particular case, then the police do not have to read your rights.

So what happens if the police don’t read your rights? If you are in custody and being interrogated, then the officers are required to give you a Miranda warning. If they don’t, then any statement that you make — including a confession — could be excluded from evidence. Your criminal lawyer Rancho Cucamonga, CA would typically file a motion to suppress any statement that you made during the interrogation. If the motion was granted, then this statement would be kept out of evidence.

More importantly, if the statement is suppressed, then any evidence that the police obtained as a result of the statements that you made could be suppressed as well. For example, if you told the police that they could find stolen goods in a particular location during an interrogation, and the police found those items based on your statement, then that evidence could be suppressed as well. This type of evidence is considered “fruit of the poisonous tree” — because it came from your tainted statement. There are ways that the police may still be allowed to use this evidence, such as if they would have discovered it without your statement.

If your statement or confession was the only link between you and the crime, and it was suppressed, then the case against you will likely be dismissed. The reason why is simple: the statement cannot be used in court, and the police do not have other evidence that you committed the crime. Similarly, if any other evidence tying you to the crime was discovered because of your statement was suppressed, the charge will probably be dismissed.

However, if there is other admissible evidence, then the case will likely move forward. For example, in the stolen good example above, if there are other witnesses who saw you breaking into someone’s house, or a home security video of you stealing these items, the charge will not be dismissed. Although your statement or confession would have been helpful to the prosecution, there is other evidence that can be used to convict you.

If you have been charged with a crime, the Chambers Law Firm is here to help. We defend Californians against a range of charges, offering aggressive representation to protect your rights. Contact us today at 855-397-0210 or dchambers@clfca.com to schedule a free initial consultation with a criminal lawyer Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

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