What are Miranda Rights?

Miranda Rightsmiranda rights are a series of warnings that a police officer must read to a suspect before initiating direct questioning on a case. The purpose of Miranda Rights is for authorities to inform the individual in question, whether in custody or not, that they have the constitutional right to the fifth and sixth amendments, which respectively support the right to self incrimination and the right to counsel. As supported by the Supreme Court decision in Miranda vs. Arizona in 1966, the court found that it was constitutionally necessary for police officers to inform individuals being questioned of their rights before interrogation begins. Therefore, officers must read a version of the “Miranda Warning” before questioning a suspect, which follows: “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 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?”


When are Miranda Rights Read to You?

It is commonly misconceived that when you are being arrested, police officers are required by law to read you your Miranda Rights at the point of being detained. However, this is simply not true. Miranda Rights are to be expressly given by a police officer before the direct questioning of a suspect is to begin. This means that a police officer could arrest you, wait to start questioning until a later time, and read you your Miranda Rights then. On the other hand, a police officer could read you your Miranda Rights while being initially arrested and start the questioning immediately thereafter.


The Importance of Miranda Rights

Miranda Rights serve as a warning to individuals in question that they are not required to answer or consult with authorities when being interrogated if they do not want to. Whatever is said after a Miranda Warning is given will be used against you in a court of law to pursue a conviction. However, if a Miranda Warning is never given to a suspect before questioning begins, the evidence obtained directly from the questioning, such as a confession or testimony where a perpetrator admits guilt of a crime, will be deemed as inadmissible in a court of law because the suspect’s Miranda Rights were never read to them. This is a critical strategy that an experienced criminal defense attorney could use to help defend a case. If a defendant’s testimony is one of the few incriminating factors that exist in a case, and it is obtained without issuing a Miranda Warning, a defendant’s case could turn in their favor. However, an important fact to note is that despite this direct testimony not being admissible in court, police officers may still use your answers from interrogation as a means to guiding their investigation and obtaining other evidence that could prove your incrimination without an admittance of guilt.


Criminal Defense Attorney Assistance

In every criminal case, the question of whether or not a defendant was issued their Miranda Rights by a police officer arises. If a defendant was given a Miranda Warning, it is still in the best interest of the individual accused to hire a criminal defense attorney to defend them in a court of law to avoid a conviction. On the other hand, a defendant should especially hire a criminal defense attorney if their Miranda Rights were not read to them because it presents an admission of evidence issue to the courts. The attorneys at Kenney Legal Defense have dealt with Miranda Rights issues and criminal cases in Southern California for over 20 years and are here to defend your rights today! Contact us at (855) 505-5588 to start the fight against a conviction now!

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