Thomas G. Fallis, P.A.
Call Today for a consultation

When should they read me my rights?

Most of us have heard it many times. Whether on TV of the movies, the language is always the same: You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you. Having your "rights read," however, was not always a requirement.

It wasn't until a case came before the Supreme Court in 1966 that reading someone their rights became mandatory. That case was called Miranda v Arizona, and your warning to remain silent is legally referred to as a "Miranda Warning." Many times however, a criminal case can revolve around whether the accused was read his rights, and when.

When it is necessary?

The specific ruling refers to being read your rights upon arrest. This is extremely important because law enforcement likes to use a handy thing called "the non-custodial interview" before it actually files charges against you.

It is part of their investigation practices, everything you say during a non-custodial interview is admissible, and the officers are not required to let you know that you are free not to speak to them.

How is this allowed?

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution gives you the freedom from incriminating yourself. You are never required to speak with an officer and you can always state that you refuse to do so. Cops, however, are very good at getting people to talk.

They may approach you in a very casual manner, making you feel comfortable and not at all like you are being questioned about a crime. This may seem very wrong-how can an officer not be required to tell you that you are being investigated?

What the courts have said

The bottom line is that courts have held that, before an arrest, any questioning by law enforcement does not occur in custody, you are free to leave the conversation at any time and it is up to you, and you alone, to invoke your right not to speak-thus, the designation "non-custodial."

If you want to ensure that you are never giving information that might incriminate you, be sure to invoke your right to remain silent. Simply state, calmly but firmly,"I do not want to talk to you." At that point, the cop must cease all questioning. Protect yourself-be aware of your rights, and use them!

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

We Have Your Future In Mind

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Thomas G. Fallis, P.A.
2064 Park Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204

Phone: 904-717-6684
Map & Directions

Proud Members of the Following Organizations:

  • ABA Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • National Association Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • The Jacksonville Bar Association
  • Florida Association Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • ACLU American Civil Liberties Union