Legal Question in Constitutional Law in South Carolina

Miranda rights

In 1999, I wasarrested at my home,handcuffed and taken to the police department to be photographed. I was never read my Miranda rights to me through the whole process. I went to court and won the case. But the problem is that my rights was still violated. Can I be arrested without be read my Miranda rights to me and get fingerprinted and mugshot for a criminal record?

Asked on 3/06/06, 10:55 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
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Re: Miranda rights

Many people mistakenly believe that police must give the Miranda warning to anyone they arrest. That is not how it works.

Miranda does not tell police how to conduct arrests. Instead, it tells them how to question people while they are in custody. If the police question someone in custody after failing to give the warning, then the resulting answers generally cannot be used against the suspect at trial.

Many arrests, however, don't involve questioning at all. Police often have all the information they need when they arrest the suspect, and if they have no questions they don't need to give the warning. Even when they question a suspect after failing to give the warning, there is often enough other evidence to prove the suspect's guilt without relying his answers to the improper questions.

Because police are not required to give Miranda warnings, defendants have no right to receive them, and the fact that you were not Mirandized does not, by itself, mean your rights were violated.

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3/06/06, 3:10 pm

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