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Failure to recite Miranda rights may affect criminal defense

If Florida police suspect someone of a crime, they may use any number of tactics or strategies to investigate the issue. This often involves directly approaching a particular person and asking all sorts of questions. If done properly and the person answers those questions and is later charged with a crime, anything he or she said to police during the conversation may be used for incrimination purposes in court; this may greatly impact criminal defense options.

Some people mistakenly believe that if their Miranda rights were not read to them by police before they answered questions, then any statements they made cannot be used against them in court and that the cases against them would be invalid. This is not necessarily true because police only have to read Miranda rights to suspects in certain circumstances. Anything a suspect says before that time can be used against him or her down the line.

Under what circumstances must a police officer recite the Miranda rights to a suspect? Two of the most key factors regarding this issue are that a person must officially be in police custody and an interrogation must be underway. Whether these requirements were satisfied in a particular situation is often vague and confusing. For instance, if police walk up to someone at the scene of a physical altercation and ask his or her name, is that an interrogation?

Rather than try to figure these things out without experienced assistance, most Florida residents choose to turn to criminal defense attorneys if they've been charged with crimes or suspect their personal rights have been violated. A defense attorney possesses a clear understanding of all Miranda rights regulations and can review an individual situation in order to provide guidance. This is also typically the best means for building a strong defense when facing criminal charges in court.

Source: FindLaw, "Miranda Warnings and Police Questioning", Accessed on Oct. 9, 2017

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