Dover Man Arrested on Drug Charges: Will Confession Stand After Reading Miranda Rights?
After a three-month investigation, police arrested a Dover, DE man and four other individuals due to their alleged involvement in a heroin, cocaine, and marijuana trafficking ring. Delaware State News reported on January 18, 2018 that the leader of the group was taken into custody at his home when officials recovered the drugs and a loaded handgun, pursuant to a search warrant. In addition, police referred to an arrest affidavit, which stated that the accused confessed during questioning. Specifically, after they read his Miranda rights as required by law, the man admitted that he was selling heroin to support his own drug habit.
At times, law enforcement officers make mistakes in their efforts to apprehend perceived offenders and lower crime rates; however, this could mean big problems for you when an error or improper pressure impacts your civil rights. If you were arrested, it is important to review this basic outline of your rights and contact a knowledgeable Delaware criminal defense attorney about your case.
Were you told you could remain silent?
You will often see an officer read off a list of rights when apprehending a criminal on a crime show, and there is some truth to the situation. This procedure is required by law under the case of Miranda v. Arizona, where the US Supreme Court found that the Fifth Amendment protects you against self-incrimination. Police cannot force you to make statements in response to questioning, so there may be a civil rights violation if they still persisted.
Did police tell you that your statements could be used against you in court?
Another requirement under Miranda is that officials must notify you that your statements can be used as evidence in a courtroom. If they fail to inform you of this right and you provide information in response to questioning, there may be a civil liberties issue.
Were you told you had a right to an attorney?
If you are under arrest, you have the right to have a lawyer present during questioning and at all phases up to a trial date. When you have an attorney beside you, there is less risk of answering improper questions or providing self-incriminating information. An officer who does not notify you of your right to a lawyer, or does not allow you to contact an attorney, infringes upon your civil rights.
If you later asked for a lawyer, did officials continue questioning?
Your right to have an attorney present does not cease because you initially say “No.” You can ask for the assistance of a lawyer later, and all questioning must stop until your counsel arrives. Failure to comply with your request could be a major problem for law enforcement.
Your Rights Matter – Talk to a Skilled Delaware Criminal Defense Attorney
If you review this list and believe your rights were violated due to a police mistake or oversight, you do have legal options to exclude evidence obtained unfairly. For more information on Miranda and other rights, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica in Wilmington, DE.