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Our defense firm receives approximately 500 to 1,000 monthly calls from individuals charged with different New Jersey criminal offenses. There probably isn’t a more prevalent question than what will happen to my charge if the police didn’t read my Miranda Rights?
The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights protects individuals from compelled self-incrimination and provides that “[n]o person shall be… compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. You may have heard someone exercising their right to “plead the fifth” and this is why they make this statement; the Fifth Amendment says that they have a right to protect themself against self-incrimination.
Despite our right against self-incrimination, there are countless instances where police attempt to interrogate an individual in violation of the fifth amendment. These efforts are intended to place a suspect in a situation where a confession or other incriminating information is provided despite the fact that it could end up resulting in a criminal conviction. If you believe your rights were violated in this manner, hiring a talented NJ criminal defense lawyer is in your best interests.
While failure to read an individual his/her rights represents a constitutional violation, this conduct doesn’t automatically result in a dismissal of a criminal charge. What universally results is, however, suppression of any statements made by a defendant after a right to be Mirandized has attached. Attachment occurs when the police decide to either arrest or conduct a custodial interrogation, whichever is earliest. What this means is that law enforcement cannot hold you and subject you to interrogation unless they tell you that you have a right to remain silent, be represented by an attorney and that what you choose to say in the face of these rights can and will be used against you.
In a fair number of criminal cases, the state’s case is based largely on a confession or admissions of fact that lead to evidence of guilt. What you need to remember is that the police cannot obtain this type of information after a Miranda violation. Any information that detectives obtain from a defendant as a result of an interrogation that was not prefaced by a Miranda Warning is inadmissible. This type of evidence is considered the fruit of the poisonous tree and cannot be used to convict. If you would like more information on this legal concept, please refer to our page on Miranda Rights in New Jersey.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is a statewide criminal defense firm with offices in Freehold, New Brunswick, Toms River, Mount Holly, Jersey City, Newark, Elizabeth, Trenton, and elsewhere. Attorneys on our team are available 24/7 for free consultations. A lawyer is ready to assist you now at 877-450-8301.