Understanding Your Miranda Rights
Anyone who has watched Law & Order, NCIS, or another crime series on television has probably heard the famous words:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”
This advisement is better known as a Miranda Warning. In Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966), the United States Supreme Court held that a criminal defendant who is in custody cannot be questioned by law enforcement without first being given this advisement. Unfortunately, a common misconception among the general public is that this warning must always be given at the time of arrest. To better understand Miranda, it is critical to analyze two necessary elements:
Your Miranda rights attach when you are in “the custody” of law enforcement. In many instances, this refers to when a criminal defendant is formally arrested. However, custody can also refer to any detainment where an individual is not objectively free to leave.
For your Miranda rights to apply, there must also be some form of custodial interrogation. In other words, the investigating officer must question you with regards to some aspect of the criminal investigation while you are in custody. This questioning often takes place at the scene of the incident, in the patrol vehicle, or at the police station.
The “exclusionary rule” explains the remedy for a violation of your Miranda rights. Under the exclusionary rule, illegally obtained evidence is inadmissible in court for purposes of criminal prosecution. While this often applies to illegal search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment, it also applies to the right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. If law enforcement fails to inform a criminal defendant in custody of his or her right to silence, and that person later confesses, those statements will likely be inadmissible in court.
It is important to remember that a detainment without questioning will not invoke your Miranda rights. Simply put, there is no legal duty for law enforcement to immediately advise you of your Miranda rights because you have been arrested or detained.
Have You Been Arrested? Contact Wallin & Klarich Today to Discuss Your Legal Rights
Being arrested is a daunting experience. You may feel anxious, confused, and unsure of what to expect next. If you have been arrested, it is imperative that you understand your legal rights. Contact our skilled attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today to discuss your legal situation. We have over 40 years of experience successfully defending individuals throughout Southern California. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.