The Two Main Exceptions to Miranda Rights
Like with most things in life, there are exceptions to the Miranda Rule. If you’ve never had a run-in with the law before, chances are high that you have at least watched someone being read their rights on a television show or in a movie. Most people know that those in an encounter with the police have the right to remain silent. While that is certainly true in most cases, there are instances when Miranda Rules don’t have to be followed.
When a person is arrested and placed in custody, it is a popular misconception that they must be “read their rights.” The truth of the matter is that a person is not read their rights, or doesn’t have to have them read aloud, until the police plan on questioning them. The Miranda Rights protect people from self-incrimination. They have nothing to do with being taken into custody.
The Emergency Exception
The first exception to the requirement is in cases of emergency. When a situation arises in which law enforcement officials are trying to help a person who is imminent danger, the rights are not required to be read. This stems from a 2013 case in New York in which the court found that the emergency exception applies when:
- There is reason to believe that immediate police assistance is needed in an emergency to prevent injury or property damage;
- There is no motivation to forego the Miranda Rights to make an arrest or collect evidence;
- There is reason to believe that there is an emergency situation.
The Booking Exception
One someone has been taken into custody, they are typically booked into a local holding facility. Booking questions are not considered to be part of the interrogation process. When a person is being booked in, they are not read their Miranda Rights. Should the questions stray from the routine, any utterings may not be admissible in court.
That said, if a person admits to something as part of routine, standard booking questioning, that information may be used as evidence. For example, if a medical condition is applicable to the crime committed, the jailer may be permitted to testify as to how the defendant responded to medical questions.
While there are exceptions to the Miranda Rights, it is almost always in a defendant’s best interest to remain as silent as possible until they speak with an attorney. Basic, identifying information such as name, birthdate and address, are typically harmless. It is when a defendant begins to answer questions outside of the norm that they can incriminate themselves.
If you have been arrested for a crime in Atlanta, you may be facing serious consequences. Call our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible if you are taken into custody. We understand the seriousness of your situation and are happy to provide you with a free initial consultation. Reach out to our team now; time is of the essence. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience you need on your side.