When a person is arrested or taken into custody, the police must inform him of his Miranda rights—including the right to remain silent—before interrogating him. If the police fail to do this, any statements, confessions, or evidence obtained as a result of these statements may not be used against him. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
Four Exceptions to When Police Must Give the Miranda Warnings
The police are not always required to inform a person of his Miranda rights—unlike what we see in crime dramas on television. A police officer is not obligated to give the Miranda warnings in these situations:
- When questioning is necessary for public safety.
- When asking standard booking questions.
- When the police have a jailhouse informant talking to the person.
- When making a routine traffic stop for a traffic violation.
Exceptions to Excluding Evidence When No Miranda Warning Was Given
Normally, evidence obtained when the police fail to tell a suspect of his Miranda rights cannot be used against him in his criminal case. However, exceptions to this rule include:
- Public safety. If the public safety exception allows the police not to give the Miranda warning and their questioning results in finding a gun, the gun is admissible at trial.
- Tangible evidence. Any tangible evidence—such as stolen money or a threatening note—that the police discover as a result of questioning a person can often be used against him.
- Witnesses. If the police discover a witness through questioning a suspect, that witness may be able to testify at the suspect’s trial.
- Inevitable discovery. If the police would have discovered the tangible evidence without questioning the suspect, the evidence would often be admissible in court.
The exceptions to when the police must give the Miranda warning or when evidence obtained in violation of the rule is admissible are complicated legal issues and subject to many court case rulings. That is why it is critical to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are charged with a crime.
If you’ve been arrested, we urge you to contact the Easley Law Firm before talking to the police. Call our experienced criminal defense attorneys today at 888-386-3898 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we may be able to help you.