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Miranda Rights

Clients often ask about whether their case has to automatically be dismissed due to a police officer's failure to read them their rights. While Miranda v. Arizona was a landmark Supreme Court case which established a critically important right for suspects in criminal cases, unfortunately the answer to this question is often "no." The rights which Miranda established in 1966, which everyone is familiar with from TV cop and lawyer shows, are essentially a protection against forced confessions. Miranda gave us the right to be warned by the police that they are NOT ON OUR SIDE, and that anything we say to them will be used against us in court. If the police interrogate you and force you to confess without having first explained your right to remain silent and to have an attorney present for any police questioning, we can move to suppress your confession so they can't use it against you in court. Getting the confession thrown out could critically weaken the State's case and give us a much better fight. So, Miranda violations can play an important role in beating charges, but in and of themselves they do not result in automatic dismissal.