Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Miranda Rule?

The Miranda rule, more commonly known as the “right to remain silent,” goes as follows:

You have the right to remain silent;

If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law;

You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have that lawyer present during any questioning;

If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.

The rule was named for Miranda v. Arizona, a case in which the defendant provided incriminating information to the prosecution because he was unaware of his right to remain silent. Since this landmark case occurred decades ago, law enforcement must inform people of their Miranda right when they are placed under arrest.

There are, however, four exceptions to the Miranda rule. They are:

Before the Arrest

The Miranda rule applies once the individual is taken into custody (arrested), not before. However, anything you say prior to your arrest can still be used against you. That being said, police are not supposed to begin interrogations until you have been taken into custody. So, unless you are just nervously spouting off unsolicited information, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. At this stage, the only information you are required to provide is of the identifying sort, such as your name, address and date of birth. If police ask you for additional information without first reading you the Miranda warning, they could be in violation of your constitutional rights. A MA criminal defense attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with any type of crime.

Private Citizens

Not everyone involved in an arrest is subject to the Miranda rule. It applies to government and “state agents,” such as prosecutors and police officers, but what about private citizens, undercover agents and jailhouse informants? According to a Supreme Court ruling, even if these individuals are paid by the government to perform a duty, they are not subject to the Miranda rule.

Imminent Danger

If imminent danger to the public prevents an officer(s) from reading the Miranda rights before custodial interrogation, a statement obtained during the course of that interrogation may, under certain circumstances, still be used against the defendant. Such a situation occurred during the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing, when the suspect was interrogated before receiving his Miranda rights. When a suspected terrorist attack or other imminent threat creates a sense of urgency, responses obtained without Miranda rights may, in comes cases, still be admissible in court.

Waiving Your Rights

In addition to the above situations, you can also waive your Miranda rights. Not surprisingly, this is not a recommended tactic, especially without first having consulted with your attorney. A Boston criminal defense attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with any type of crime.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Premier Criminal Defense Law Firm in MA

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of those charged with crimes for more than 50 years. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed entirely. If your constitutional rights were violated during your arrest, any evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our attorneys are skilled at finding the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. We will position you for the most favorable outcome possible and fight tirelessly to protect your rights, reputation and freedom. Don’t go through this difficult time alone, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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