Interviewer: Let’s talk about Miranda rights. I would imagine that some of the misconceptions are when people don’t know what their rights are and how it affects their case. Have you encountered clients that claimed that the police didn’t read me my Miranda rights so they should just drop the case?
David: I explain to those clients that the police departments and a few other agencies have gotten very good at this and they don’t bother to arrest people until after they’ve interviewed them. Here is a common scenario that might occur:
“Hi, we’d like to talk to you about this little girl that visited your house last week. Why don’t you come down to the police station and talk to us”. ‘Do I have to go?” “You’re not under arrest and you could leave after the interview.” “Oh OK.” The person shows up and makes a statement.
The Police Are Not Required to Read Your Miranda Rights during an Interview if You Have Not Been Arrested
Misconceptions of the criminal justice system with respect to Miranda rights do exist and I have explained to numerous clients that you are not entitled to Miranda unless you are in custody, unless they start to interrogate you.
No, not hearing your Miranda rights before an interview is not a reason to dismiss the case. All that accomplishes, if they violated your rights, is to have the statement excluded.
In Many Cases, Information Obtained from Acquaintances or the Television about the Criminal Process Is Incomplete or Inaccurate
Interviewer: Most people get their information from friends that may have had run-ins with the criminal justice system or from TV. I’m sure that a lot of it is just plain wrong. That would lead to people having a lot of misconceptions about how the criminal justice system really works.
Attorney Horan Always Advises His Clients to be Patient Because the Criminal Justice System Can Appear to Move Slowly
David: One aspect about the criminal justice system that people get stressed out about is how slow it seems to take. On TV, the cases go from start to finish relatively quickly. In the real world that does not happen.
For example, on television, the investigators pick a drop of blood off of a rug and five minutes later up pops a photograph of the person the blood belongs to with her current address. That is just not what really transpires.
Occasionally, for the high profile cases where there are intensive investigations cases can break very quickly. For example, what recently occurred in Boston with the two individuals who detonated bombs at the Boston Marathon? On that case, there was thousands of people involved law enforcement during the investigative process.
For your generic case, all the fancy technology you see on TV is unlikely to be present in the client’s case. People think that that expensive or state of the art technology is commonly used and generally speaking it usually is not.
Speaking with the Police: Is it Possible to Talk Your Way Out of an Arrest?
Interviewer: How about encounters with the police? Do you find that people feel compelled to try to talk their way out of getting arrested? Do people tend to make certain mistakes that they could easily avoid?
David: People are constantly incriminating themselves, thinking that if they tell the police what happened that the police will let them go.