Most people have never heard of the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, but almost everyone has heard the famous words that resulted from it. After the Supreme Court heard the case, it issued the ruling that any person who is detained for custodial interrogation must be read a set of rights. Can you guess what they are?
You have the right to remain silent;
If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law;
You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have that lawyer present during any questioning;
If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.
If you have ever been arrested—heck, if you have ever seen a cop show—then you have probably heard this warning. But these rights only apply to custodial interrogation—there are still some exceptions to the rule. In this post, we’ll look at the four exceptions to the Miranda rule.
1. Standard questions
The police must read you your Miranda rights before interrogating you about a crime. Not all questions that the police ask you count as interrogation, though. The police do not have to read you the warning when asking you routine booking questions such as your name, date of birth or address.
2. Non-government agents
Undercover agents, jailhouse informants and private citizens are not required to read the Miranda rule before questioning someone about a crime. The law applies only to government or state agents such as police officers or prosecutors.
3. Public safety risks
In some cases, there may be an emergency in which reading a suspect their Miranda rights before an interrogation could compromise public safety. In these cases, law enforcement officers can interrogate someone without stating the warning. This is a rare exception that is applicable to situations of immediate public danger, like a terrorist attack or a bomb threat.
4. Waiving your Miranda rights
You may waive your Miranda rights by choosing to respond to police officers’ questions. This is very rarely recommended. If you have been detained for custodial interrogation, contact a criminal defense lawyer in your area.