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Thomas By Thomas C. Grajek


  • This is the question I get asked most as a criminal defense attorney.
  • The police did not read me my rights, does that mean my case will be dismissed?

Did the police have to read me my rights?

Miranda rights only deal with your statements. You have a 5th Amendment right under the United States Constitution to remain silent and not be a witness against yourself. What does this mean? It means you DO NOT have to talk to the police or answer their questions. You have the right to speak to an attorney during questioning. If the police are looking to question you, call an experienced criminal defense attorney first!

“Be careful what you think. Be careful what you say.
It might be used against you in court one day!”
– Tom Gabel, 2008

Police officers only have to read you your Miranda rights if you are subject to custodial interrogation. “Custodial interrogation” means being questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. A person is in “custody” if a reasonable person placed in the same position would believe that his freedom was curtailed to a degree associated with actually being under arrest.

What does that mean without the criminal defense lawyer mumbo jumbo? The police only have to read you your rights if you are in custody. Whether or not you are in custody is a decision the judge makes when I file a Motion to Suppress Your Statements asking the court to throw them out of court because the police violated your Miranda rights. If the court decides that you were in custody and the police did not read you your Miranda rights, your statements will be thrown out of court and the prosecutor can not use them against you.

  • If my statements are thrown out of court does this mean my charges will be dismissed and thrown out too? It depends.

If your statements are the only evidence against you to prove the crime you are charged with and they are thrown out, the case will be dismissed. However, if there is other evidence against you besides your statements, the charges will not be dismissed, but the prosecutor can not use your statements against you at your trial.

What does that mean without the criminal defense lawyer mumbo jumbo? Let’s say that your are charged with murder. The only evidence the police have that you committed the crime is that you admitted and confessed to the police you killed the person. If you were in custody and the police did not read you your Miranda rights, your confession will be thrown out and the case would be dismissed.

However, if the prosecutor has 3 witness that will testify that they saw you shoot the victim, your confession can not be admitted into evidence at your trial, but the other 3 witnesses can testify that they saw you shoot the victim and the charges would not be automatically dismissed.

Please call for more information regarding your Miranda rights and how it may effect your case. My superior criminal defense experience in dealing with the courts and prosecutors allows me to answer your questions, help you with your arrest, and protect your rights in court. Do not leave the outcome to this serious charge to chance, get me to stand up for you and fight for you in court!


Lakeland, FL (863) 688-4606
Tampa, FL (813) 789-6404