Whether you are being investigated for a white collar crime or have already been arrested for a drug crime, the first thing you should know is that you should not talk to law enforcement officers without your attorney.
It is entirely possible that without the information you provide, law enforcement will have no case against you at all. By choosing to share information, you may be building the case against you.
Sometimes, people fall into the trap of thinking that if they speak with law enforcement officers voluntarily, it will clear things up. Unfortunately, by doing this you may be waiving your rights and providing law enforcement with evidence against yourself. There may be no way to take these statements back later in the case, either.
Evidence obtained through a Miranda violation is not admissible at trial. However, if the police officer recites the Miranda rights to you and you voluntarily choose to speak after that, you have waived your Miranda rights and anything you say in this manner will be admissible against you at trial. It is generally a good idea to take the Miranda warnings to heart, and exercise your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney.
Another important issue when dealing with Miranda violations is the issue of custodial interrogation. Miranda warnings only have to be issued to an individual before any custodial interrogation takes place. Generally, custodial interrogation happens when you have been detained by police officers and do not feel free to leave at any time, and police officers begin to question you. The interpretations of this general rule comes up often in criminal cases where the admissibility of a defendant’s statement is an important issue.
For example, New York courts have ruled that someone who goes to the police station voluntarily and makes a statement to an officer, is not subject to custodial interrogation and Miranda rights do not apply. When a police officer is simply asking questions, that does not count as custodial interrogation. Usually, in ruling on this issue, courts consider how much time the defendant spent with police officers, whether the defendant was restrained in any way, the location of the questioning, whether the defendant was excessively pressured, and other factors.
In short, if you go to police officers and speak with them voluntarily, the police officers may not even have to read you your Miranda rights because they do not apply. If you have been arrested and chose to speak with police officers after you have been given your Miranda rights, you may have waived your rights and your statements may be admissible.
Always consult an experienced criminal defense attorney before speaking with police officers, whether voluntarily or because you have been arrested. This should prevent you from making damaging statements which may come back to haunt you at trial.
Call our experienced NYC criminal defense attorneys at (212) 577-6677 to schedule an immediate consultation.