One of the most well-known and entrenched aspects of the law is the reading of the Miranda rights to a suspected criminal by the arresting officer. We have seen this in hundreds of American TV shows and movies; it is likely that even the average person who is not versed in the law could recite those warnings from memory.
However, the Miranda rights are not just a pop cultural touchstone, they are an important part of the law because they establish the fact that even suspected criminals have rights too.
That is why officers need to recite the Miranda rights to any suspect they take into custody. What happens if they don’t read those rights? Keep reading to find out. But if you have been accused of a crime, then you need to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible whether the arresting officer read you your Miranda rights or not. If you live in the Miami area, then strolenylaw.com is where you should go to get the help that you need.
What Are the Miranda Rights?
A criminal suspect must be informed of the following Miranda rights when they are taken into custody:
- They have the right to remain silent.
- Anything they say may be used against them at a trial.
- They have the right to have an attorney present while they are being questioned by law enforcement officials.
- If they cannot afford an attorney, then one will be appointed for them.
These rights or warnings are meant to uphold the suspect’s Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Miranda rights are not constitutional rights, but rather they are meant to make the suspect aware of their constitutional rights.
What is the Fifth Amendment?
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says that no one “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” That means the criminal suspect does not have to answer any questions asked by the police. The Fifth Amendment also means that they do not have to testify in a criminal trial, which is what happens when someone decides to plead the Fifth when questioned by an attorney. All of this means that when a suspected criminal is taken into custody by a police officer, they need to be informed of those rights so that they have a clear understanding of the situation that they are in.
What If The Police Do Not Read the Miranda Rights?
While Miranda Warnings are very important, a case is not automatically dismissed if they are not read to a suspect since, as stated earlier, they are not constitutional rights. However, the failure to read a suspect their rights can make the case more complicated. That is because if the suspect is not read their Miranda rights, then any statement they make during an interrogation cannot be used against them in a trial.
The case may not get immediately dismissed because the suspect was not read their rights, but it could cause problems for the prosecuting attorney, which could potentially lead to a dismissal of the case.
What Counts as Being in Custody?
Miranda rights are read to suspects who are being held in custody. And custody is defined as when an individual is deprived of freedom of action in a significant way. In other words, if a suspect is handcuffed and not allowed to leave, then they are being held in custody and should be read their rights.
Someone who has been pulled over for a traffic stop is not considered to be in custody, which means that any incriminating statement they make can be used against them even if the police officer did not read them their Miranda rights.
Know Your Rights If You Have Been Taken Into Custody
Even if you were taken into custody and not read your Miranda rights, those rights still apply despite the officer not informing you about them. That means you do not have to answer their questions and that you have the right to an attorney. So make sure you use that right to get an experienced defense attorney to defend you during your time in custody, as well as the rest of the trial proceedings.