Central Coast

Dear Jon: Miranda rights aren't always required if arrest is made

Miranda rights are designed to protect you

First off, I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. But Scott sent me a note asking, "Dear Jon, when arrested and taken into custody, is it required that you be read your Miranda rights?" I sought comments on this question from three Central Coast police chiefs and one deputy district attorney. The following is what they shared with me.

Thousands of Miranda cases are out there. If you don't know, Miranda rights are the 1966 Supreme Court decision that provides you a constitutional right to remain silent and have a lawyer represent you and the fact that what you say or do can be used against you in a court of law.

The basic question here is, when arrested and taken into custody, is it required that you be read your Miranda rights?

An instructor in Miranda law who is also a deputy district attorney and three police chiefs tell me the simple answer to that is: no.

They tell me the reason why is because police may not question you further about a case.

If police want further information from you about a case, and it may not even be for the case that you were arrested for, they will typically invoke Miranda then.

The 1966 Supreme Court decision never said that the police are required to read you Miranda rights. The deputy DA says it's only if they have a "high suspicion of probable cause" and "you're not free to leave" and police want to question you. Most likely in that scenario, I'm told, you'll be read Miranda rights.

Miranda law can be "splitting hairs" at times and there are thousands of scenarios that can be discussed where Miranda rights may or may not apply.

My sources say, it's basically about suspected involvement, custody and whether questioning will occur. But generally Miranda isn't automatically required if you've been arrested and taken into custody.

Again, this is not legal advice. If you seek legal advice, consult a licensed lawyer.

If you have a question for me, email me on the link above. You can also message me on Facebook at "JonKBrent KIONKCOY" and Twitter at "DearJonKBrent."

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