There are many federal protections that you can invoke when dealing with law enforcement. For example, the Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches, which means you could deny entry to your home if officers don’t have a warrant for probable cause to justify coming inside. The Fifth Amendment protects you from self-incrimination.
You also have certain rights ensured by court rulings in the past. Your Miranda Rights are the result of a Supreme Court decision related to a criminal case. For those in the custody of law enforcement, their Miranda rights are very important.
What do you need to know about your Miranda rights before an interaction with the police?
What your Miranda rights are
The Miranda Warning involves a police officer informing someone of their right to remain silent and their right to have an attorney assist them. You don’t have to talk to the police at all, and you also have the right to have an attorney represent you not just in the courtroom but during every interaction with law enforcement.
These rights are so important for criminal defendants that those who confess to criminal activity or otherwise implicate themselves in questioning by police without having heard of their rights could ask the courts to exclude that evidence from their trial.
When officers must inform you of your Miranda rights
Contrary to what many people think, an officer does not need to provide the Miranda Warning when they arrest you. Instead, they should advise you of your Miranda rights before questioning you while you are in police custody. Simply failing to advise you of your rights at the time of arrest is not a Miranda violation.
What a violation means
As previously mentioned, Miranda violations can help a defense attorney successfully suppress certain evidence. The exclusionary rule prevents the courts from hearing any evidence obtained illegally or through misconduct by police officers. When a situation involves a Miranda violation, much of what an individual says to the police while in state custody may become inadmissible during their trial.
Understanding your Miranda Rights will take the uncertainty out of making use of them during an encounter with law enforcement or discussing a suspected violation of your rights with a criminal defense attorney.