April 2018

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On a daily basis, someone tells me the following “they didn’t even read me my Miranda rights”.  Because police television shows and movies have been popular for fifty years; everyone has heard, “You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney….”  Even Mom can give a Miranda warning from hearing it so often on television. But does that familiarity help to explain the rights of an accused, or not?

        Reality is very different from television and movies.  Although what you hear actors saying may be correct; that is where the confusion begins and further it has created an urban legend of misunderstanding in our society.  In this blog I will not delve into the history of Miranda v. Arizona. Nor will I discuss in detail what the specific rights are; as noted above, you can probably recite them!  What I am going to write about is when do these rights apply to you. In other words, when does a cop have to read you your rights?

        The short answer to this question is simple; maybe never.  The Miranda rights do not have to be recited you unless two things occur.  First, you must be under arrest. Police are generally trained to ask a lot of questions prior to an actual arrest, so watch your words.  The Miranda rights do not apply during this questioning and you may incriminate yourself.  So, if an officer walks up to you on the street and begins asking questions (and you’re not under arrest); he/she can do that without Miranda being a concern.  Anything you say at that time is evidence and can be used against you without violating your rights. Officers are trained to say, “I just have some questions, you’re not under arrest,” just to get people to talk.  This tactic is specifically used to get around Miranda. Once the phrase, “you are under arrest,” is said, then Miranda rights may become mandatory.

        The Second item is that the police must want to question you. There are times when the police may not need your statement or even care to talk to you.  Street cameras sometimes speak for you, for instance. If the police are interested in asking you about a crime, they must give the warning. If they are simply making small talk or asking you what you want for dinner while in jail, there is no need for the warning.

        Now you know how Miranda rights apply in a criminal case.  Hopefully, I have cleared up this widely misunderstood area of criminal procedure and you can ignore the television shows that use these important rights for dramatic effect.  Always remember, you are your best protection, so keep quiet until you talk to your lawyer, like a criminal defense lawyer State College, PA trusts.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from De Boef Lucchesi, P.C. for their insight into miranda rights.

Facing a DUI Charge?


Driving under the influence of alcohol is a grave mistake that can cause you, or someone else, a great deal of pain and suffering. Not only is driving under the influence of alcohol risky because it can cause accidents resulting in bodily injury or death, but it can also cost you a lot more. For example, depending on the circumstances of your case, a DUI conviction may result in losing your license, being charged significant fines, an order to attend mandatory substance abuse counseling, an order for mandatory use of a ignition interlock device, and even substantial jail time. If you feel as if you have been wrongly charged with a DUI, these potential outcomes seem particularly terrible because you did not commit the crime with which you are charged. That is where the attorneys at [law firm] may be able to help. In the event you or a loved one needs legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact a DUI attorney MD relies on to assist.

They Know the Law

Over their years of experience practicing law the attorneys at have learned laws and the court procedures with proficiency. This is an important part of providing competent legal representation. Knowing the courts, judges, prosecutors, and court system can save you time and stress. Knowing the law will help your case. The attorneys  know the defenses available and they know how to assert them to benefit your case.

They Know You

Their years of experience have also allowed the attorneys] to represent a number of criminal defendants and many who have had DUI charges filed against them. They have almost certainly represented defendants just like you with charges similar to yours. Because they have seen so many cases, including cases similar to yours, they have well-developed strategies for handling your case. They know how to spot errors in law enforcement action and procedure. They know your legal rights and defenses, and they are capable of providing competent advocacy to get you a fair result at trial. Not only do they understand your case and the charges against you, they also understand what you are going through and they are capable of providing you the support you need to get your life back on track.

Thank you to the The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C for providing their insight on DUI charges.