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You May Not Have The Right To Remain Silent

Clients with criminal charges almost always tell us they did not have their rights read to them “like we see on television.” Probably every time we see an arrest on a fictional television show, the police officer tells the suspect, while handcuffing the suspect, what the suspect is charged with and then he starts reciting the Miranda warnings: “You are under arrest for the crime of . You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law….”

In the real world, police officers rarely follow the television script and usually do not need to. For example, most traffic stops do not require the police officer to read a suspect the Miranda warnings. Even if the officer is supposed to read the warnings, but does not, the case is not automatically dismissed. When an officer is asking questions of a suspect, the suspect is usually best advised to remain silent – even if the officer doesn’t give him or her the option. Whether the officer was required to advise the suspect of the right to remain silent, and what affect the failure to advise those rights has on the case must be evaluated by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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