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“I wasn’t read my rights!”

The most popular Suburban Legal Myth deals with the person who was arrested, but was not read his Miranda rights. He thinks because he wasn’t read those magical words that his triple homicide will get thrown out of court. Actually, he’s usually hoping his DUI will get thrown out.

Most of the time when a person complains about not having been read his rights, he had been placed under arrest and therefore was in custody.1 But he was not interrogated,2 or if he was questioned what he said was non-testimonial3 in nature. So the fact that he was not read his rights is irrelevant.

However, not being read Miranda rights can in some cases result in a successful motion to suppress a confession, and if without the confession the charge cannot get passed a Judgment of Acquittal, then the case will be dismissed.4 So there is a basis in truth to this myth.

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