Often, people will complain to me that the police never read them their rights when they were arrested. Despite what’s shown on TV and in the movies, the police do not have to read someone their rights the second they’re arrested. The Miranda rights (“You have the right to remain silent”, etc.) are only required to be given when a person is “in custody” and being interrogated by the police. Both custody and interrogation must be present at the same time for the rights to be given. If you’re in custody (arrested), but they’re not asking any questions of you, the police are not required to read you your rights. In the same way, not every questioning by police is done while you are “in custody.”
If you are being “detained” by the police during an investigation, that is not the same thing as “custody” and you don’t have to be read your rights, even in the face of very direct accusatory questioning. If you are formally arrested, you are clearly “in custody” and must be read your rights. But what if you’ve been contacted by the police, handcuffed and put in a patrol car? Are you arrested? Are you only “detained”? These are fine distinctions, but they may have enormous impact on your case. What the police did, what they said, and the specific language they used can all change your status from “detained” to “arrested” in the eyes of the law. Even if this is an innocent mistake by the police, if the Miranda rights were required, but not given, any statement should be thrown out by the Judge.