People are familiar with seeing television programs where police officers
advise people that they have the right to remain silent, to consult an
attorney and if they cannot afford a lawyer, one can be appointed to them.
If you are arrested in Maine, a Maine criminal defense lawyer can be present
with you during questioning. However, at what point do authorities have
a legal obligation to inform you of this right?
The Miranda warning resulted from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of
Miranda v. Arizona. Many people are confused about the difference between arrest and being
taken into custody. Arrest means that law enforcement is charging you
with a crime. Sometimes police officers take people into custody and question
them before arresting them. Other times they arrest the person and then
take them into custody for questioning. Custody involves significantly
limiting the person's freedom to leave. Police must give the Miranda
warning before questioning a suspect in custody. Evidence obtained through
questioning where no Miranda warning was given is inadmissible at trial.
Courts consider this evidence inadmissible based on the "fruit of
the poisonous tree doctrine," which arose out of the case
v. United States. The idea is that the tree is a tainted source (illegal because of a failure
to provide a Miranda warning) and therefore the fruit (the answers provided
during questioning) are also tainted or poisoned.
If authorities want to question you or place you under arrest, it is vital
to contact an experienced
criminal defense lawyer in Maine for legal guidance.
Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. has successfully defended clients against criminal
charges for years and established a reputation with law enforcement. We
are known for excellent criminal defense representation, handling many
different types of criminal charges.