Understanding Your Miranda Rights in Missouri

Anything you say can AND WILL be used against you

A picture of a man being arrested, and, presumably, read his Miranda rights.

Whether you are arrested in Missouri or any other state in the U.S., law enforcement officials are required to read your Miranda rights in some situations. They do not need to read your rights on every arrest; the caveat is that they don’t have to inform you of your Miranda rights unless they intend to interrogate you and you’re in custody. 

When the police say “anything you say can and will be used against you,” they aren’t kidding. However, if they neglect to Mirandize you, it could potentially invalidate or at least weaken the prosecution’s case. 

Our criminal defense lawyers at Kirsch & Kirsch have the skill, experience, and knowledge to recognize situations where our clients are improperly Mirandized or not informed of their Miranda rights when they should be. 

Contact us today to discuss the details of your case. Continue reading to learn more about the significance of Miranda rights in Missouri. 

Why is the Miranda v Arizona Case so Important?

The Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona (1966) that statements made by defendants to law enforcement are inadmissible in court unless the defendant was properly advised of their rights before questioning. 

Furthermore, the individuals being questioned must understand their rights as well as their ability to waive them. 

If the police suspect a person of committing a crime based on other forms of evidence, they may not ask questions. In that case, law enforcement officials are not required to read the Miranda rights when placing you under arrest. 

What Are The Miranda Rights?

Police officers are required to read defendants their Miranda rights via a Miranda Warning in applicable situations. While the exact wording may differ department-to-department, they generally read as follows: 

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You also have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you.” 

You have the right to waive your Miranda rights. However, that’s not recommended in 99.9% of cases. Defendants do themselves a disservice when they talk to law enforcement without an attorney present. 

Are There Exceptions to Miranda Rights? 

Yes. There are exceptions to the Miranda Warning. They include, but are not limited to: 

  • Routine booking questions  (i.e., name, birth date, address, etc.)
  • The “public safety” exemption where the police are compelled to ask questions without reading Miranda rights due to imminent public danger
  • The “DWI exception,” where police can ask motorists guilt seeking questions regarding how much they’ve had to drink 

The basic rule here is: don’t talk to anyone about an ongoing criminal investigation without your lawyer present. Otherwise, you risk avoidable self-incrimination. 

What To Do If You’re Charged With a Crime in Missouri 

If you’re charged with a crime in Missouri, the best thing you can do is remain calm, remain silent, and contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. 

When law enforcement says, “anything can and will be held against you,” they are serious. That means that you should refrain from talking about your case online, with friends/family, at work, or to other inmates while you await trial. 

An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights, the charges levied against you and advise you during police interrogations. 

What if My Miranda Rights Are Not Read? Will Charges Be Dropped? 

Usually the answer is, “no.” On most arrests, the police do not need to read the Miranda warnings. And, if the police fail to Mirandize a defendant appropriately when the warning is required, they do not always need to drop the case.

However, it does mean that the prosecution is prohibited (in most cases) from using anything the defendant says against them at trial. That means that they can still prosecute suspects based on eyewitness testimony, video/picture evidence, DNA samples, etc.

Contact a Miranda Rights Law Firm in Missouri Today

Our attorneys adamantly defend individuals who have their constitutional rights violated during an interrogation. If the government neglects to adequately inform individuals of their rights, anything they said may be inadmissible in court. 

If we learn that the prosecution is using otherwise inadmissible evidence against you, we know what actions to take to hold them accountable and ensure that you have a fair chance in court.

Never speak to anyone about a pending criminal case against you without a lawyer present. Contact Kirsch and Kirsch today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Jefferson City, MO, that you can trust.