Most people have a hard time making good decisions when they feel stressed out, and getting arrested is no exception.
Sadly, police know this. When under arrest, many will attempt to put the pressure on. Some officers will threaten, lie, and claim they are “helping you” when they are simply trying to gather evidence to use against you.
But you have rights. The best way to protect yourself after an arrest is to know your rights before one ever happens. The better informed you are, the easier it will be for you to manage the interaction appropriately.
You probably already know a bit about the Miranda Warning. You have seen Miranda rights issued on TV and in the movies. Below are a few facts about the Warning you may not be aware of:
When does a police officer actually have to give you the Warning?
The biggest misconception (often seen on television) about the Miranda Warning is the myth that officers must warn you of your rights at the time of your arrest. That is not the current standard.
Police officers have to provide people in state custody with the Miranda Warning prior to questioning them. Officers can arrest someone and never advise an individual of their Miranda rights if they don’t intend to question them. They can also talk to a person who is not under arrest without issuing the Warning without violating their Miranda rights.
What are your specific rights under the Warning?
The Miranda Warning specifically involves advising someone of their right to remain silent during an interaction with law enforcement and also their right to have an attorney present when talking with police or preparing for court.
What happens when an officer violates your Miranda rights?
A violation of your Miranda rights will not mean that the state cannot pursue criminal charges against you. A Miranda violation doesn’t affect the charges against you but rather than evidence that the state can use to convict you of a crime.
Any evidence gathered after a Miranda violation could potentially end up excluded from criminal proceedings. If you were unaware of your Miranda rights, any confession or contradictory statement you made while you were being questioned could end up tossed and inadmissible in court.
Any further questions or those relating to specific circumstances can best be answered by a skilled criminal defense attorney in your area.