Most have heard of Miranda rights, but perhaps not everyone knows what they are. So lets begin with a bit of background.
In the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court declared that any time a person is taken into custody, that person must be made aware of his or her fifth amendment right against compelled self-incrimination. As a result, law enforcement is required to read these rights to the person they are taking into custody at the time of the arrest.
What do the Miranda Rights Say?
While each jurisdiction has its own requirement on what must be read by police, the Miranda Rights generally include the following statements:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and may be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to have an attorney present before and during the questioning.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.
What if police don’t read your rights?
As mentioned earlier, police are required to read these rights at the time of an arrest. If they do not and beginning questioning the person under arrest, any response made will be considered involuntary. With that being said, the statements might not be able to be used as evidence in a court of law. Additionally, if a police officer fails to read your Miranda rights, this may be able to be used in your defense.
The important thing to remember is that the Miranda rights are set in place to help protect you from self incriminating yourself, before a lawyer can help give you legal guidance.
Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney
While this explanation provides an overview of what the Miranda rights entail and why they were put into place, it can become complex in an actual case. This is why encourage you to speak with a San Marcos criminal defense lawyer who can provide legal advice on your particular situation and work to protect your rights after an arrest. For a free consultation involving your case, please contact us today.