When Must The Police Read Me My Miranda Rights?

By: LawInfo

The Miranda warning is usually given when a person is arrested. However, the Miranda Rights attach during any “custodial interrogation” (when a person is substantially deprived of their freedom and not free to leave) even if the suspect hasn't been formally arrested.  However, the police do not have to advise you of your Miranda rights before asking any question.  If a person is not in police custody, no Miranda warning is required and anything the person says can be used at trial if the person is later charged with a crime. This exception most often comes up when the police stop someone on the street to question him or her about a recent crime or the person blurts out a confession before the police have an opportunity to deliver the warning. If a person believes that he or she is a potential suspect in a crime, then it may be wise to politely decline to answer questions, at least until after consulting an attorney.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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