Knowing Your Miranda Rights
If you have been arrested, knowing your Miranda rights and how important they are could be the difference-maker in your case. Your charges may be dropped if your Miranda rights were never read to you or read incorrectly. Here is what you should know.
Knowing Your Miranda Rights | What are They?
Your Miranda rights must be read and made clear to you by the police only if they intend to interrogate you. They are:
“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 provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
Knowing Your Miranda Rights | Arrest
The Miranda Rights are important for anybody who is being arrested or has been placed in custody. Once you’re in custody, and the police want to interrogate you, their obligation is to inform you of your Miranda Rights.
Many examples of such cases exist. The police officers make a valid arrest, but they don’t read your Miranda Rights. It’s still a valid arrest because they never had an opportunity to ask questions that might incriminate the individual. Therefore, the Miranda Rights don’t become relevant to the prosecution.
For example, if the police pulled you over and they asked you if you’ve been drinking, you’re not under arrest yet. Therefore, those questions are valid, and those answers are admissible. But let’s say after you answer those questions, you’re taken out of the car and asked to do field sobriety tests, and then they decide to arrest you. This triggers your right to having the Miranda Rights read to you.
Knowing Your Miranda Rights | Importance in a Trial
If they don’t read you your Miranda Rights, this doesn’t create an automatic flaw in your case. The Miranda Rights really pertain to the admissibility of statements against you, not necessarily any other evidence against you.
If the police officer does arrest you legally, does not read you your Miranda Rights, and then starts questioning you while in custody or when you get back to the police department, saying things like, “How many drinks did you have? How much food did you eat? What time did you start drinking? What type of alcohol did you drink? What period of time past between each drink?” then these statements are subject to a suppression.
This means that these questions and answers are subject to be excluded from evidence at a trial. This suppression hearing would be done in front of the judge. The judge would decide whether or not that evidence could be introduced against the individual at the trial. However, the mere fact that this happened does not invalidate an arrest.
Do you need a criminal defense attorney who understands the importance of your Miranda rights? Please call New Jersey criminal defense attorney Carl Spector today for a free consultation.