Many of us are passingly familiar with our rights when we are arrested. We have the right to remain silent, we have the right to an attorney, and so on. But many of us are not familiar with the details of our rights, or we may not understand our rights completely. Being familiar with your rights can help you protect yourself until you are able to speak to your attorney, so it is important to be familiar with them.
WHAT ARE MIRANDA RIGHTS?
Miranda Rights, also known as the Miranda Warning, is a set of statements that are intended to inform arrested individuals of their constitutional rights. These rights are:
- You have the right to remain silent, and anything you say can be used against you in court.
- You have the right to an attorney, and one will be appointed for you if you cannot afford one.
If you are arrested and read your rights, you must acknowledge verbally that you understand your rights, and if you are willing to speak to the officer. Police are required to translate your rights into another language if you do not understand them, and the translation is typically recorded.
INVOKING YOUR RIGHTS
You have rights that are meant to protect you, but these rights cannot do so if you do not invoke them. You are able to refuse to speak to law enforcement at any time before or during an interrogation. If you do so, the questioning must end. This is known as Pleading the Fifth, which refers to the Fifth Amendment, which outlines your Miranda Rights.
You also have the right to representation by an attorney, and any questioning must cease until after a lawyer is present and you have had the chance to confer with your attorney. The lawyer may also be present during any subsequent interrogations.
WHEN DO POLICE NEED TO READ MY RIGHTS?
Your Miranda rights only need to be read when the police intend to question you under custody. You may be arrested without a Miranda Warning, but the warning must be given if the police decide to interrogate you at a later time. Failing to do so appropriately may result in the evidence obtained during questioning being dismissed from the case. If you are questioned due to a public safety issue, you do not need to be read your rights. Evidence obtained during this time may be used against you later in court.
You must still answer certain questions at the time of your arrest, such as your name, age, address, and other identifying information. Additionally, any confession made before your rights have been read may be used against you in court.
If you’ve been arrested, it can be damaging for your case to face questioning without a skilled Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney at your side. Joshua T. Crain, Attorneys at Law can help you navigate your trial, and has represented cases involving many areas of criminal law, including DUI, sex crimes, and violent crimes.