When one is arrested in Michigan, they are often read their Miranda rights but sometimes, prior to an arrest, an officer may not read those rights and the defendant may incrimination themselves. This article represents a checklist on the concept that is one’s Miranda rights. This is what we call a “Miranda Checklist”.
“When Does Miranda Apply?”
Miranda Warnings apply when one is in custodial interrogation. This means two things:
1. Custody means that the defendant was not free to leave. This is often a controversial topic in the state of Michigan as a person can be in custody in their house, in a car or a jail cell.
2. Interrogation is defined as when the police officer is attempting to elicit an incriminating response from someone in custody. According to Michigan case law, this means the police are asking questions that go beyond mere formalities.
“Is the warnings are not sufficient, can the statements be suppressed?”
To have warnings that are sufficient, the police are supposed to state the following:
“You have a right to remain silent. Anything that you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney and if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights?”
There is case law in Michigan that states if the warnings are not read correctly or at least get the message across of the above-listed statements, any incriminating response may be suppressed through a concept called the Exclusionary Rule.
“What are the dangers of waiving my rights?”
This is something that the defendant should never do. While it may seem arbitrary to many, the idea of waiving your rights to hear those 5 statements followed by a question could be the difference between freedom and incarceration. According to Michigan law, when one waives their rights it must be done: Knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily. If the defendant was no coerced to forgo their rights they should go through the process.
“Do the police have to reinitiate the Miranda Warnings if they question a defendant a second time?”
The short answer to this is yes. More often than not, the defendant will waive these rights after hearing them once. This is a bad idea and the defendant should make the police go through the process or providing their rights a second time.
“Can Pre-Miranda silence be used against a defendant?”
This is probably the most valuable question to ask. If you are ever questioned about a crime, you should say the following: “I did not do it, I am invoking my right to remain silent and if you want to question me further I want an attorney present.” If an individual does not provide a response their silence can be used against them.
The issue of Miranda Warnings is truly a battle that asks what questions and statements can be utilized against the defendant and which statements cannot. Having the knowledge of knowing your rights can protect the future of you and your family.
Bill Amadeo is a partner at the law firm of McManus PLLC in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He works as an associate for Grabel and Associates on criminal matters. Bill can be reached at: Amadeo@McManuspllc.com.