Miranda Rights and Misdemeanor Infraction

Question: Do Miranda rights have to be read for a misdemeanor or a civil infraction?

Answer: Miranda rights really don’t apply to civil infractions, simply because civil infractions are not crimes. The Miranda rights only apply in the context of criminal investigations. However, misdemeanors are crimes just as felonies are crimes; the only difference relates to the maximum punishment. In Michigan, if a crime is punishable by one year or less, it is always considered to be a misdemeanor. On the other hand, if it is punishable by more than one year, it is considered to be a felony. Otherwise, the Miranda rights apply equally to both misdemeanors as well as felonies.

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