Miranda rights are useless unless you stop talking.

Miranda rights are useless unless you stop talking.

Miranda rights in New Mexico apply to custodial interrogations. If you keep talking after you are in custody, you forfeit those rights.

The question then arises regarding the meaning of “in custody”. Basically, “in custody” means that a reasonable person would not have felt free to leave or disengage with the officer.

Keep in mind that this is a very basic definition. The determination can get a little tricky for the defendant. Law enforcement will try to say that you were not yet in custody so speaking with you did not trigger the need for Miranda warnings.

There are numerous circumstances that the courts will look at to determine whether a reasonable person would have felt to leave. These revolve around the 1) nature, character and demeanor of the police, 2) the characteristics of the defendant that might make them more or less likely to assert their rights to walk away and the 3) environment or setting that the questioning takes place.

Keep in mind also that the courts will often construe or even contort the facts to preserve the legality of the questioning. This gets us back to Rule #1, STOP TALKING!

An experienced criminal defense attorney can assist you in understanding the consequences of admissions made during questioning. More importantly, the attorney will know how to deal with them in the defense of your charges. The Albuquerque Attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached at [phone}.

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