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What You Should Know About Your Miranda Rights

If you have ever seen an episode of “Law and Order,” or “Cops,” you have likely heard the arresting officer say something to the individual being arrested: “You have the right to remain silent.” This sentence is the beginning of what is called your Miranda Warning, which warns each person of his or her constitutional rights. Here is what every person should know when it comes to their Miranda Rights when you are stopped by the police in Arizona. 

What Are Miranda Rights?

Miranda Rights are an individual’s constitutional rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the United States Constitution. They originate from a 1966 case (Miranda v. Arizona) in which the police went to the home of Ernesto Miranda, who was suspected of stealing eight dollars from a bank worker. While voluntarily at the police station for questioning, he signed a statement of admission that he was guilty of rape and kidnapping. After being tried for each of those crimes and convicted, he appealed his case through the court system, with the U.S. Supreme Court eventually agreeing to hear it. 

The Court returned a verdict in favor of Miranda, finding that he had been in police custody at the time of his statements but had never been advised of his rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments (e.g. the right to remain silent, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to an attorney). This landmark case eventually led to each state adopting its own rules regarding the rules that its police must follow when it comes to warning individuals in custody about their rights. 

Your Miranda rights will likely sound 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 can not afford one, one will be provided to you.”

How Do Miranda Right Help You?

If an individual is interrogated by police without first being read their Miranda rights, incriminating statements that are made will not be able to be used as part of the evidence against you. 

Once read your Miranda rights, if you request an attorney and state that you do not want to talk, the police are required to stop any questioning immediately. If you are not given a Miranda warning while in police custody and you admit guilt and share information regarding where evidence is hidden, both the admission and the evidence will likely not be allowed in by a judge. However, it is important to note that if you are “Mirandized” and waive your rights, still continuing to talk, anything you say can be used as evidence against you to convict you. 

It is extremely wise that after being read your Miranda rights that you seek an attorney, who can act as your protector and tell you when and when not to answer questions. 

At What Time Are Miranda Rights Read?

Once you are detained by a police officer, meaning you are no longer free to leave, the officer must read you your Miranda rights. What often happens is that police officers tell an individual they are questioning that he or she is free to leave at any time, but due to their authority, many people are intimidated and feel as though they cannot. 

Although your Miranda rights afford you the opportunity to invoke your constitutional right to remain silent, there is certain information that this does not cover. If you are asked for your identification and insurance information during a traffic stop, you are obligated to provide it – you cannot invoke any right against doing so. 

The Lawyers at Blischak Law Help Those Who Have Been Charged with a Crime

If you have been questioned by the police while in police custody without first being read your Miranda rights, any incriminating statements you make will not be able to be used against you. Without certain evidence allowed in, this can help you to minimize or even eliminate the results of your case. If you or a loved one has been questioned by the police without being Mirandized, Blischak Law can help! To learn more or to schedule a free consultation call Blischak Law at 602-726-2449 today!

Posted in: Criminal Defense