Defense Strategies

Miranda Rights Violations



The Miranda case has limited power in all of the courts in Los Angeles.  The thing your attorney will be trying to do, related to a Miranda violation, is to keep your statement from being used against you in your criminal case.  Many times people will admit to conduct that the police and prosecutors could not normally prove against them with available evidence.  By admitting a certain fact or facts, the defendant makes it easier for the prosecutors to prove a particular part of the criminal case against them.  Some people are dumb enough to admit the whole crime.

By making a Miranda objection or filing a motion to prevent the statement from coming in, the attorney is saying to the judge that the client’s Miranda rights have been violated in some way and the statement can not be used against them to prove their guilt.  If this motion is success, it can be quite effective in the right case.  Sometimes the person’s statement is necessary to convict them, and once the statement is thrown out, the prosecutors are forced to dismiss the case and simply can not proceed.

However, if you did not make an incriminating statement, the fact that the police did not read you your Miranda rights ends up being irrelevant and meaningless.  Another scenario where the Miranda rights are not applicable is when the police are just having a casual encounter with you and you are not in custody or a reasonable person would not believe that they are in custody.  If the prosecutors can prove that a reasonable person would feel free to leave, then the Miranda protections are not triggered and there is not Miranda protection afforded the defendant.  The best way to evaluate if you have a good Miranda issue is to sit down with the seasoned criminal defense attorney who has been down the road you are about to travel and had success in blocking an incriminating statement from coming in against their client.  A new attorney or one that has not litigated a Miranda issue is going to be in for a sad experience when the judge and prosecutors trample all over your rights and they are ill prepared to deal with it.


Judges and prosecutors are usually not sympathetic to a person they believe committed a criminal offense.  In other other words if they know you did it because you were stupid enough to admit it, they are going to be doing everything in their power to see to it that you are punished for the actions you admitted.  Just like the rest of society, they do not like it when people get away with things.

Unfortunately, they will look the other way when it comes to protecting against a Miranda violation if they believe the defendant is guilty of the crime.  When you combine this with conservative appellant courts, Miranda’s protections have been chopped up and become very thin indeed.  I have battled these cases over 25 years and have become more and more surprised by what judges and prosecutors let the police get away with, when it comes to protecting the dictates of Miranda and a person’s constitutional rights.  This is why attorneys tell their clients to be quiet and never talk to law enforcement.  If you do not make any statements, then you do not have to worry about anything being used against you or the police claiming you said or did something that simply is not true.

The constitutional basis for Miranda comes from the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The 5th Amendment states that people living in the U.S. should not be compelled to testify against themselves. Courts have interpreted this to mean that when a person is detained and before they are going to be interrogated, that they must be warned that anything they say during their detention can be used against them in court. This warning is known as the Miranda Warning.

The Miranda Warning has 4 parts, and the person being detained must be given these warnings. The wording used at the time of the warning does not have to be exact, but the warning must convey that…

1) The person has a right to remain silent
2) Anything the person says may be used against them in a court of law
3) The person has a right to an attorney &
4) If the person cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to them b the State

A party who has not been read their complete Miranda Warning can have subsequent statements made to police stricken from court. A Miranda Warning serves to inform a party of their right to silence, in order to preserve the admissibility of their statements in future criminal proceedings. An example of this would be a party, who after being arrested is read a truncated version of their Miranda Rights. Statements made, depending on which parts of the Miranda Warning were not read, can be stricken from court.

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