Everyone who has ever watched individuals get arrested or taken in for questioning on TV is familiar with police “reading their rights.” This catchphrase refers to the rights established in the landmark 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona. Among these rights include a formal warning by law enforcement officers of the right to remain silent, the right to have a lawyer present during questioning, the right to be appointed a lawyer if you cannot afford one, and the right to terminate the interview at any time, as well as advisement of the fact that any statement that you make can be used against you in court. Police officers must read these rights to individuals prior to performing any type of custodial interrogation. If these rights are violated, then any statements made during the interrogation are not admissible in court, which can result in the dismissal of charges against individuals in some cases.
The key to determining when police are required to read Miranda rights to you is whether you are undergoing a custodial interrogation. Typically, this type of questioning occurs when you are under arrest and police are attempting to further the investigation of the crime for which you have been arrested. If you are in custody and being interviewed by police, you should be advised of your rights.
However, it is not always easy to tell when you are in custody or subject to a custodial interrogation, which can make it difficult to tell whether police should read you your rights or not. For example, if you voluntarily have gone to the police station to answer questions, but are not under arrest, then chances are that police are not required to advise you of your rights. However, anything that you say during this interview or conversation can later be used as evidence against you.
If you are facing criminal charges, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can ensure that all of your rights a protected at all stages of your criminal proceedings. At Peek & Toland, we are dedicated to protecting your rights and defending you any accusations of wrongdoing that you may be facing. We are here to investigate the facts surrounding your case, consider your options, and help you develop the strategy that is best designed to achieve a successful outcome in your case. Do not waste time attempting to handle legal matters on your own; contact our office as soon as you are charged with a criminal offense so that we can provide you with the help that we need.