Miranda Rights Not Needed for Pre-Custody Statements in Utah

Drug Possession in Utah and Miranda Rights

Many people have heard Miranda rights been given on TV but few understand what Miranda rights actually mean.  In the landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court held that a person who has been arrested, for such things as drug possession, must be informed of his rights.  Those rights include the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney.  People must understand that they can keep quiet and they don’t have to say anything to the police after they are arrested for such crimes as drug possession.  Staying silent doesn’t mean one is guilty, it only mean he seeks to protect his constitutional rights.

Right to Remain Silent Before Police Custody

What about before being arrested though?  Does a person have the right to remain silent before being arrested?  A person does have the right to remain silent before he is arrested but the police do not have to inform the person of those rights.  This is an important distinction because if a person is arrested for something like drug possession or is in police custody and not given his Miranda rights, any statements made can’t be used against him.  But, if he is not arrested and never given Miranda rights, those statement can be used against him in court.

Sometimes it is unclear if a person was arrested for something such as drug possession because the person appears to be in police custody.  The Utah Supreme Court has set forth 4 factors that aid in determining whether a defendant is “in custody.”  The Court said (1) the site of interrogation; (2) whether the investigation focused on the accused; (3) whether the objective indicia of arrest were present; and (4) the length and form of interrogation all aid in determining whether one was in custody.

Each case is different and there is often gray areas of whether someone was in police custody.  This is why it is best for anyone who speaks to the police to have a Utah criminal defense attorney present to protect the person from self-incrimination.

Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys Protect Miranda Rights

Simply put, don’t talk to the police if they say they are investigating a crime such as drug possession.  Staying silent doesn’t show you are trying to hide anything, it just shows you are exercising your rights.  If the police want to talk to you, then hire a Utah criminal defense attorney from Salcido Law Firm. A Salcido Law Firm attorney will protect you from self-incrimination and keep you from saying anything that will be used against you later in court.  Call 801.618.1334 to speak with a Utah criminal defense attorney today.

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