Are Miranda Rights Required?

Modified Transcript of “Are Miranda Rights Required?” for the Hearing Impaired:

The single most common statement we hear from clients after the fact, after they’ve been arrested, is, “I wasn’t given my Miranda Rights, and as such, aren’t the charges or the case supposed to be dismissed?”

Upon making an arrest, a law-enforcement officer must:

a.         Identify himself as a law-enforcement officer unless his identity is otherwise apparent,

b.         Inform the arrested person that he is under arrest, and

c.         As promptly as is reasonable under the circumstances, inform the arrested person of the cause of the arrest, unless the cause appears to be evident.

The answer is:  Not necessarily.

Miranda has to do with your right to remain silent, and it comes from years ago when people didn’t realize that you have a right to an attorney present, you have a right not to say anything, and those rights come from a case where the guy was named Mr. Miranda.

See Related: NCGS 15A-401

Well, that’s been a good number of years now, several decades, and most people now know they have a right to remain silent. Often times, they waive those rights. They feel pressured or they feel like it would be better to cooperate.

  • One, you can remain silent and that cannot be used against. It’s your absolute right to not cooperate.
  • Two, once you start talking, once you waive those rights, you may not be able to benefit from keeping that evidence out.
  • Three, that brings up the most important point, is that Miranda applies to the suppression of statements meaning that you have a right to remain silent and if you weren’t apprised of those rights.

The most common remedy is to kick out the confession, meaning to suppress the confession.

Now, without evidence or because evidence has been suppressed there may be circumstances where the case gets dismissed, meaning that but for you talking to the police, they have no other evidence of the offense or an offense and they have to dismiss the charges.

That doesn’t mean that in every instance it’s an automatic, I guess for lack of a better term, a get out of jail free card. There may be many, many other factors that could be used against you outside your statements that still would be enough to convict you.

Either way, as you can probably tell, it’s nuanced, it’s complicated, it’s not simple, it’s not what you see on TV, and it’s certainly not what many people just assume to be true.

Call us now.  We’re here to help. We’re here to explain these things to you, and we’ll be more than willing to answer any questions you may have. Look forward to hearing from you.

Bill Powers

Bill Powers has been listed in 2015 SuperLawyers North Carolina Magazine. In calendar years 2012, 2013 & 2014, SuperLawyers further included Bill in the “Top 100” Lawyers in North Carolina. In 2013 Bill was listed as “Top 25 in Charlotte” by SuperLawyers North Carolina.

For Membership Information & Criterion for Inclusion to SuperLawyers North Carolina see:

Powers Law Firm PA in 2015 has been again listed as a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT. For Member Info & Criterion for Inclusion see:

In 2015 Bill Powers has been included in Best Lawyers of America. For membership info & criterion for inclusion see:

Bill Powers has also been listed in “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers in North Carolina” by The National Trial Lawyers. For member info & criterion for inclusion see:


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