BloomLegalTV: New Orleans Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Miranda Rights
Hi. My name is Seth Bloom and I’m with the law firm of Bloom Legal here in New Orleans, Louisiana. Our office is located at 700 Camp Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70130. We’re getting a lot of questions about Miranda Rights. We certainly represent a lot of people, having a robust criminal defense practice dealing with arrests. So everyone wants to tell me, “I wasn’t read my Miranda Rights. Do I have an out? Do I have an out?”
Well, I want to talk a little bit about Miranda today, and I’m gonna boil it down and not really get into the specifics of it. So I’m gonna pull out my iPhone here, because I don’t have it but we have all read it and heard it on CSI and all these other police shows. So Miranda is based on 1966, Miranda v. Arizona. The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he or she has the right to remain silent and that anything that the person says will be used against that person in court. The person must be clearly informed that he or she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have the attorney present during questioning, and that, if he or she is an indigent, an attorney…an indigent or a poor person, will be provided with someone at no cost to represent him or her. Basically, we get a public defender.
So, what does that mean? So let’s say you are driving drunk, and you swerve off the road and run into a tree, and they peel you out of the car and, thank God, you’re okay. And they give you a blood test and you’re all off the chart. You can’t walk. You stagger. You tell the guy, “I’ve had 40 beers.” And basically, you come to my office and you say, “They never read me my rights.” What does that mean?
Well, basically, what that means is, to boil it down, Miranda is anything you say can and will be used against you. So other evidence is not excluded by Miranda. So, for instance, if you’re arrested in that scenario where you run off the road, and they didn’t Mirandize you and you can prove that, which is another thing…because every time a cop writes a police report, he says that he read your Miranda Rights. So you first have to prove that he didn’t do it. So then the only issue is whether what you said can be used against you.
So you’re driving down the street, you crash. You test, all your blood alcohol level tests positive for alcohol. You fail the field sobriety test, and then you scream at the cop and you say, “Hey, I just had 12 hurricanes on Bourbon Street.” Well, if he didn’t Mirandadize you and you can prove that, then that statement is not accepted in court. But the fact that you crashed your vehicle, the fact that you have failed a breath analyzer, failed a blood test, couldn’t perform field sobriety, would all be admissible in a court of law. So, just because someone hasn’t read you your Miranda Rights, that’s only affecting statements you make during the arrest and after the arrest process. This often comes into play during interrogation situations back at the police station, where someone is young or confused and basically is not properly informed that they are entitled to have an attorney with them, and then the person makes statements about a more serious crime. And that’s what Miranda is really used, more or less.
Police are pretty good. FBI are pretty good. DEA are pretty good. Everyone knows how to check the Miranda box, especially when doing an interrogation. I hope that gives you a little bit of a brief view on Miranda. I hope I didn’t burst your bubble because you weren’t read your rights properly, but basically that’s what Miranda means and that’s boiling it down. And obviously, this is the layman’s version but that’s who we’re trying to help here.
Again, my name is Seth Bloom at Bloom Legal. If you have any other questions, give us a call, 504-599-9997. Give us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, we’re talking about general principles of the law. Nothing I say should be construed as actual legal advice. Each and every case is different and has a particular set of circumstances and facts, so you need to have a lawyer look at each and every case individually in your jurisdiction. If you have any other questions give us a call, and hopefully you don’t get arrested and you don’t need us.