If law enforcement does not provide you the Miranda warnings while you are being questioned, the prosecution may not use any statements obtained from that interrogation in the case at trial. Being in custody does not necessarily mean that you are in handcuffs or at a police station. Whether you are in custody for purposes of Miranda is determined by whether you have been deprived of your freedom in a significant way, such as not being free to leave the police officer. If law enforcement officers have not complied with their obligations under Miranda, you may bring a motion to suppress the statements.
Even if you have not been provided your Miranda rights, any statement you make may not be introduced into evidence at trial unless the statement was made voluntarily. In other words, a coerced confession may not be used against you. It is the prosecution’s responsibility to demonstrate that you knowingly and intelligently waived your privilege against self-incrimination. A motion to suppress evidence can be brought on the basis that either the waiver of Miranda rights was not voluntary or that it was not knowing and intelligent.
To learn more about the history of the Miranda Rights, check out this interactive timeline.
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