Knowing What Are Your Miranda Rights Can Help Protect You
In the case that the police fail to read your Miranda warnings prior to an interrogation, none of the information can be used. David Cardon is a reputable criminal defense attorney at Cardon Law in Virginia Beach, VA, with over 20 years of experience. Mr. Cardon can help you understand what are your Miranda rights, if they have been violated, or if you have provided any information that can be used against you.
What are Miranda Rights?
Just about anyone who watches police dramas on television knows Miranda rights, also known as Miranda warnings, by heart: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you can not afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you by the court. You have the right to have the lawyer present with you during questioning."
The High Court has ruled when a person is in custody and interrogated by law enforcement, that person must be read warnings, letting them know their rights.
For those accused of a crime, the purpose of the Miranda warning is to make you aware of your 5th Amendment right to remain silent. In short, your Miranda rights will be read to you if you are being arrested as a suspect for a crime. If you are not being arrested, they will not be read to you. Understanding this is important because Miranda rights will not go into effect until after an arrest is made, therefore, any information provided at will can be used in a trial.
When Should Your Miranda Warnings Be Read?
If a person is arrested by law enforcement, and they are being interrogated, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is probable that person might confess to something simply because they are intimidated by the fact they are in custody with police officers asking questions. To try and level the playing field, the High Court has ruled when a person is in custody and interrogated by law enforcement, that person must be read warnings, letting them know their rights.
Instances When They Do Not Need to Be Read
In specific situations, your Miranda rights do not need to be read.
No Questions are Asked
If no questions are asked once a defendant is arrested, it is not necessary for the police officers to read the Miranda warnings. The officer will still have to prove to the judge you committed a crime, beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the officer can do this based on his or her testimony and/or witness observations.
When a Confession is Volunteered
If you arrested by a police officer and while in custody, you volunteer a confession without being interrogated, that confession is completely admissible in court. The rationale is, if the police did not ask you any questions, you were not coerced into confessing.
Miranda reaffirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court
After Miranda.v. Arizona was decided in 1966, Congress enacted a law that overruled the Supreme Court's decision in Miranda. The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed its decision in Miranda by ruling the warnings are rooted in the US Constitution and could not be overruled by the U.S. Congress. Therefore, it looks like Miranda warnings are here to stay – at least for the foreseeable future.
What to Do If You Ever Hear Miranda Warnings
As a practical matter, if you are ever arrested, and you hear a police officer reading Miranda warnings, that is your cue to keep quiet and say nothing. In most cases, you hurt yourself by speaking after being read Miranda warnings. David Cardon is a compassionate, knowledgeable attorney who can provide sound legal counsel and vigorously represent you in court. Do not incriminate yourself, contact us online or by phone at (757) 620-3283 as soon as possible.