If you have ever sat through an episode of “Cops” or “Law and Order,” you have probably heard the arresting officer speaking to the accused and saying something like “You have the right to remain silent.” This sentence marks the beginning of what is known as a Miranda Warning. A Miranda Warning serves to alert each person to his or her constitutional rights. Here is what you should know about your Miranda Rights should the police stop you.
What Are Miranda Rights?
Your Miranda Rights are those constitutional rights that you have under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. These rights first originated under a 1966 case called Miranda v. Arizona, in which police went to the home of Ernesto Miranda, who was suspected of stealing eight dollars from a bank worker. While at the police station for questioning voluntarily, he signed a statement of admission that he was guilty of rape and kidnapping. He was tried and convicted, but appealed his case through the court system, with the U.S. Supreme Court eventually agreeing to hear it.
The Court returned a verdict in favor of Miranda, finding that he had been in police custody at the time of his statements but had never been advised of his rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments (e.g. the right to remain silent, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to an attorney). This was a landmark case, which led to the adoption of specific rules of each state concerning what its police must follow when warning individuals in custody about their rights.
The Purpose of Miranda Rights
In order for any incriminating statements made by an individual who is being interrogated by the police, they must first read you your Miranda rights. If they fail to do so, such statements are inadmissible as evidence against you.
Should you request an attorney and state that you do not want to talk after you have been read your Miranda rights, the police are required to immediately cease any questioning. If you are not given a Miranda warning while in police custody and you admit guilt and provide information regarding where evidence is hidden, both the admission and the evidence will likely be inadmissible. However, it is important to note that if you are read your rights and waive them, still continuing to talk, whatever you say can be used as evidence against you to convict you.
One of the best decisions that you can make after being read your Miranda rights is to request an attorney and cease discussions. The attorney can act as your protector and tell you when you should and should not answer questions.
When Are They Read?
Once you have been detained by a police officer, which means that you are no longer free to leave, the officer must read you your rights. What often happens is that police officers tell an individual they are questioning that he or she is free to leave at any time, but due to their authority, many people are too intimidated to do so.
Although your Miranda rights afford you the opportunity to invoke your constitutional right to remain silent, there is certain information that is not included under this protection. If you are asked for your identification and insurance information during a traffic stop, you must provide it – you do not have any right not to.
Ceja Law Firm PLLC Helps Those in Texas Who Have Been Charged with a Crime
If you have been questioned by the police while in their custody without first being read your Miranda rights, any incriminating statements that you have made may not be used against you. If you have not been read your Miranda Rights, Ceja Law Firm PLLC can help! To learn more about your Miranda Rights or to schedule a consultation call us at 713-766-3769 today!