Legal Question in Constitutional Law in Minnesota

Do I have to be mirandized during a citizen's arrest? I was recently arrest but the police had to have the other party place me under citizen's arrest because they could not charge me themselves. I was never read my Miranda rights at any point during my 18 hours of police custody. Was I supposed to have been read my rights?

Asked on 1/20/16, 2:13 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

The rules about when police are supposed to give Miranda warnings are sometimes very complex. But some aspects of them are quite clear. One clear rule is that, where officers would otherwise be required to give those warnings, they can't get around the requirement by instructing civilians to arrest the suspect for them.

With the limited facts you've provided, I can't tell whether you were entitled to Miranda warnings. But if the "other party" placed you under citizen's arrest on the instructions of a police officer, then the officer is as responsible as if she'd arrested you herself. Just how sure are you that this is what happened?

Note that, even if the officer committed a Miranda violation, you aren't out of the woods. A Miranda violation doesn't undermine an arrest. It just means that answers the suspect gave to questions while in custody -- along with other evidence obtained solely as a result of those answers -- can't be used in court as evidence against him. The authorities often have more than enough other evidence to successfully prosecute the suspect.

There are any number of reasons why you may not have been entitled to Miranda warnings, or why some exception to the usual rules would apply. You should discuss the details of your case with a competent defense lawyer ASAP.

Good luck.

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Answered on 1/23/16, 6:07 pm

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