Criminal Arrests and Interrogations FAQ

Will a judge dismiss my case if I was questioned without a Miranda warning?

Not necessarily. Many people mistakenly believe that a case will be thrown out of court if the police fail to give Miranda warnings to the arrested person. What Miranda actually says is that a warning is necessary if the police interrogate an in-custody suspect and want to use any of her responses as evidence. If the police fail to give you a Miranda warning, nothing you say in response to the questioning can be used as evidence to convict you. (There are exceptions, however.)

The "fruit of the poisonous tree" rule requires that courts suppress evidence that comes from other, illegally obtained evidence. But it doesn't apply to Miranda in the way that it does to the Fourth Amendment. Physical evidence (drugs, for example) that police learn about because of a statement following a missingĀ Miranda warning will often be admissible in court. (SeeĀ If the Police Find Evidence Because of a Miranda Violation, Is the Evidence Inadmissible?)

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