There has been a lot of discuss in the past few days about captured Boston Bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, not receiving his Miranda Rights pursuant to the public safety exception. This has been the subject of much debate because normally arrested suspects in the United States are read the well known Miranda Warnings before interrogation or at least that is what you would believe by watching Law & Order. You know how it goes – “you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you . . .”
Many college students (and other people) I represent in a criminal court are quick to report to me they weren’t read their Miranda rights by the Police. Unfortunately, in most cases it doesn’t matter. Just because you are a college student who was arrested and the police didn’t read you Miranda doesn’t mean that it was an illegal arrest or that the case gets dismissed or you can’t be charged with the crime, etc.
Miranda Warnings are only REQUIRED to be read to a college student who has been arrested when they are in police custody and being interrogated or questioned by police. So, if the police don’t ask you questions about the crime then they don’t have to read the Miranda Warnings. If they do question you and haven’t read Miranda Warnings your only remedy is that your statements don’t come into evidence against you. That’s it. Not very exciting or helpful most of the time.
But still, college students you have the right to remain silent and I would recommend you use it.