Sunday, April 25, 2021

WERE YOU CAPABLE OF WAIVING YOUR MIRANDA RIGHTS?

When you are arrested, an officer must read your Miranda rights. If you keep talking, you may be giving up those rights.

Once you have clearly invoked your right to an attorney, any police interrogation must stop unless you initiate communication. If instead police restart the conversation, your statements will be presumed involuntary and will not be admissible at trial. To determine admissibility, the court looks at 1) whether you, rather than police, started the conversation in a manner demonstrating a willingness to discuss the investigation, and 2) if so, whether you knowingly and voluntarily waived your Miranda rights.

To knowingly waive your rights, the waiver must reflect an intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right or privilege. That means you were fully aware of both the nature of the right you gave up and the consequences of your decision to abandon it. A waiver is not voluntary if you suffered from an intellectual disability or if police continued questioning you after you requested an attorney.

In People v. Kadow, the defendant was intellectually disabled with an IQ in the 50s, and the officer, had threatened him with jail if he did not answer questions. The court reflected that the intellectually disabled are considered more susceptible to police coercion than people of normal intellect. Thus, the defendant could not knowingly and voluntarily waive his rights.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense. If police coerced you into talking or you were otherwise incapable of waiving your rights, an attorney may be able to petition the court to suppress any incriminating statements that you involuntarily made.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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