“But the police never even read me my Miranda Rights?!” Anyone who has ever watched a television show or film involving law enforcement knows about the infamous Miranda Rights. If you have not heard of them before they go something like this:
“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 cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.” And so on and so on.
Miranda Rights were the result of the United States Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona (1966). The statement is intended to protect an individual from answering self-incriminating questions and involuntarily admitting to a crime. While the wording of the rights may vary, as long as the message is accurately conveyed and understood, the statement will be valid and upheld in a court of law.
With the Miranda Rights statement being so prevalent in media, many clients are often confused when they are not read their rights immediately. We often hear clients state, “but they can’t use that information right? I told them that before the police even read me my Miranda Rights?!” This results from the misconception that is perpetuated in pop culture that anything you say prior to being read your rights is protected. This is simply not true.
Police Officers are not required to provide you with your Miranda Rights warning upon arrest. Officers are able to arrest you, put you in the back of a squad car, and take you in for booking without reading you your rights. Your Miranda rights only become relevant once you are: (1) in custody; AND (2) subject to interrogation.
Any voluntary or spontaneous statement you provide to police officers can be used as evidence against you. This information usually comes in the form of clients attempting to justify why they committed an infraction or providing an excuse. If you are not yet in custody and being interrogated, speaking on your own accord can and will be used against you. In order to avoid this from occurring, inform the officer that if you are being investigated for a crime, you wish to remain silent before being provided your Miranda Rights, and that you’re invoking your right to an attorney.
You have a right to not tell the police officers anything. However, if you speak on your own accord prior to your rights being read, that information may be admissible. If you find yourself in trouble with law enforcement, call an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.
If you believe your rights have been violated or have questions, contact Rosenquist Law Office by phone at (701) 775-0654, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation. Our office has attorneys available twenty-four hours a day.
*The information contained in this article and on this website is for informational purposes only. This information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.