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 Nardone 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.