25 Sep 23

When are police allowed to question me without reading Miranda rights in New York?

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Last Updated on: 2nd October 2023, 05:33 pm

When Are Police Allowed to Question Me Without Reading Miranda Rights in New York?

Getting arrested can be scary. You might feel confused, worried, angry – it’s totally normal. One thing that happens on TV a lot is cops saying “You have the right to remain silent…” – the famous Miranda rights. But in real life, things aren’t always so clear cut. When do police actually need to read you your rights?

The short answer is: only if they want to use anything you say as evidence against you in court. But let’s break it down a bit more.

What are Miranda rights?

Miranda rights come from a famous 1966 Supreme Court case called Miranda v. Arizona. Basically, the court said that when police take someone into custody and then interrogate them, they have to first warn them of certain rights:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you in court
  • You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you

This warning lets people know they don’t have to talk to the police if they don’t want to. The police aren’t supposed to pressure or trick you after you say you want to stay silent or speak to a lawyer first.

When do police need to give Miranda warnings in New York?

The key is being in “custody.” This basically means you don’t feel free to leave – like being handcuffed or put in a police car. New York law says police have to read you your rights as soon as you’re taken into custody and they want to question you about a crime.

So if they arrest you but don’t ask any questions, they may not need to say anything about your rights. Or if they just stop to ask you questions on the street, no Miranda needed because you aren’t in custody.

Police also don’t have to remind you of your rights every single time they talk to you. Usually they’ll read you the Miranda warning when you’re first arrested, and that’s enough.

What if they don’t read me my rights?

If the police don’t give Miranda warnings when they’re supposed to, anything you say in response to their questions can’t be used as evidence against you in court. This rule is called the exclusionary rule.

So your statement getting thrown out can really damage the prosecutor’s case. That’s why cops are supposed to give the Miranda warning – it protects your rights and makes sure they can use your statements as evidence if you choose to talk.

But even if they don’t Mirandize you, they can still arrest you and bring charges based on other evidence. The only thing that gets tossed is your own statements made during questioning in custody without a Miranda warning.

Should I talk to the police if I’m arrested?

Every situation is different. But in general, legal experts say you should avoid answering questions if you’re taken into custody until you can speak to a lawyer. Police are allowed to lie and exaggerate to get information from you. An attorney can help make sure you don’t accidentally incriminate yourself.

You may feel pressure to talk so the police will “go easy on you” or let you go. But their job is to gather evidence for prosecution, not help you out. Don’t fall into that trap.

How do I invoke my rights?

After arrest, if police start asking you questions without giving Miranda warnings, be direct and say something like “I want to invoke my right to remain silent until I can speak to an attorney.”

Just staying quiet or saying you don’t want to talk is not enough. You have to clearly state you are invoking your Fifth Amendment right to silence or your Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Say the magic words – “I invoke my right to remain silent/speak to an attorney” so there’s no confusion.

Police may still try to convince you to talk, but stick to your guns and ask for a lawyer. Don’t fall for guilt trips or promises of leniency. Protect yourself first.

When in doubt, don’t talk without a lawyer

I know, talking to the police when you haven’t done anything wrong seems like it could help. But it’s just too risky. In the pressure and confusion of arrest, you could end up admitting to something you didn’t even do.

So if you’re ever in custody, take a deep breath and ask for an attorney. It’s your right! Don’t say anything else until your lawyer arrives. They’ll handle the police and watch out for your interests.

Understanding your rights is power. You have the right to remain silent – so use it until you have professional legal advice on your side!