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Legal Eagle

Dan Hanifin is a litigation attorney at Unruh Turner Burke and Frees, P.C. My practice covers a wide variety of areas including commercial and business disputes, family law, criminal defense, personal injury, and other areas. Dan represents individuals and businesses in resolving all kinds of legal disputes and assisting them in a variety of ways.

Dan is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Rutgers School of Law. He is married and the father of two daughters, ages 6 and four months. Dan have been practicing law in West Chester for about five years after working for a large firm in Philadelphia. "I love practicing law in Chester County."

Legal Eagle will be both informational, but also welcome general legal questions that may be posed by readers. Please note, a short blog on a legal subject is informational and does not replace the advice of a lawyer who knows all of the facts and circumstances of a specific issue.

This blog is for information purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice. If you have a legal issue you should contact me or another attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation and the factual background which will directly influence the legal outcome.

The police did not read me my rights . . . I thought that was required?

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I hear this statement from almost every criminal client who walks into my office.  There is a commonly held misconception that Police are required to read you’re your Miranda Rights.  We have all heard Miranda rights on television or elsewhere.  “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you . . ..”

The vast majority of people think that the police’s failure to read you your Miranda rights results in the entire case being thrown out.  Unfortunately, the only remedy for a police officer not reading you your rights is that anything you say cannot be used against you in a trial.   

In many cases, the police do not need statements from the perpetrator.  For example, in the case of a DUI charge, the police have non-testimonial evidence such as video from the police car of your swerving and your blood/breath evidence which shows your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).    

In other criminal cases, the police may have eye witnesses or other evidence of a person’s guilt without a need for any statements by the alleged perpetrator. 

My general advice to clients is that when a police officer starts asking you questions about a crime or event, whether s/he has read you your rights or not, you should politely state that you want to speak to a lawyer before answering any questions.       


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Daniel Hanifin is a lawyer in West Chester, PA at the firm of Unruh Turner Burke and Frees, P.C  He has practiced in West Chester for the last five years after working for a large firm in Philadelphia for a number of years.  Mr. Hanifin is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Rutgers School of Law.   Prior to attending law school, Dan worked in the insurance and securities industry and owned his own business.   He is a husband of 11 years and the father of two daughters.  

Dan’s litigation practice is general in nature and encompasses family law matter, criminal representations and all types of commercial disputes and complex civil litigation.  Dan is a zealous advocate for his clients regardless of the type of case and works hard to accomplish his client’s goals.  Dan believes that in order to offer your client the best advice and representation, you have to get to know your clients.         

In his free time, Dan enjoys spending time with his family and friends.  He volunteers in numerous capacities including coaching his older daughter’s soccer team, which was a new adventure for a former Dartmouth football player.   Dan is also an avid fly fisherman and can occasionally be found on a Chester county stream enjoying the Chester County landscape.