Chances are, on some level, you are somewhat familiar with the Miranda rights (or the Miranda warning, as they are sometimes called). Even children who watch movies and television can probably recite at least part of these rights that are announced every time a criminal arrest is made my police officers. However, as ubiquitous as the Miranda rights have become in our culture, misconceptions about why they exist and how they can affect a criminal charge still persist.
What Are the Miranda Rights?
The Miranda Rights are as follows:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to have an attorney present with you during questioning.
- If you do not have an attorney, one can be provided for you.
These rights primarily concern themselves with self-incrimination. Prior to the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona decision, suspected individuals could be taken into police custody, isolated, and questioned indefinitely. Lawmakers realized that individuals subject to this treatment were not always aware of what their rights were and could be easily intimidated by police.
Now, the Miranda rights inform an individual entering police custody that they do not have to answer questions until an attorney is present. This warning makes the arrest and interview process more transparent and fair for the accused and fosters greater community trust of our law enforcement agencies.
What Miranda Rights Cannot Do
Because Miranda rights are so critical to our criminal justice system, misconceptions have arisen about what can happen if they are not recited by police at the time of arrest. In fact, much of the public still believes that if police do not recite the Miranda rights, the criminal charges against the accused become invalidated.
This isn't necessarily true. If the police fail to recite the Miranda rights during an arrest, the criminal charges still stand. However, what the accused then says in an interview with police would become inadmissible in court. So while the absence of Miranda rights can greatly hurt the state's case against the accused, it does not automatically invalidate a criminal charge.
Are you or a loved one facing a serious criminal allegation? If so, the time to speak to experienced, proven counsel is now. At the Law Office of Joseph A. Lazzara, P.C., I have been defending the rights and interests of the accused for more than two decades. I know what it takes to secure favorable results for my clients and always ensure that, both in and outside of the courtroom, their voices are heard.
Ready to start exploring your legal options? I'm ready to take your call. Contact my offices at (720) 809-8262 today.