A person’s Miranda Rights are directly related to the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and exist to protect U.S. citizens against self-incrimination. This includes the right of an individual to not serve as a witness to a crime they themselves have been charged with. Let’s take a further look at Miranda rights and how they affect criminal charges.
The Origin of Miranda Rights
Miranda vs. Arizona: The establishment of Miranda rights stems from the 1996 decision by the Supreme Court that the Fifth Amendment rights (regarding self-incrimination) of Ernesto Arturo Miranda were violated during his arrest which involved multiple criminal charges including armed robbery, kidnapping, and sexual abuse.
What is the Miranda Warning?
You’ve probably heard it plenty of times before in movies and on TV shows, but the Miranda Warning is as follows:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions. You have the right to have a lawyer with you during questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish. If you decide to answer questions now without a lawyer present, you have the right to stop answering at any time. “
This is the statement that law enforcement officers are required to recite to criminal suspects when they take them into custody or into an interrogation. However, the rights to not have to be read word-for-word and are accurate as long as the following rights are adequately conveyed to the person in police custody:
- The right to remain silent.
- The right to refuse to answer questions.
- The right to consult with an attorney before speaking to the police.
- The right to have an attorney present during police questioning.
- The right to have a lawyer appointed if one cannot be afforded by the person in custody.
- The right to remain silent at any point during the time the person is answering questions by police without an attorney present.
The arresting or interrogating officer will then ask the person in custody if they understand their rights as they have been explained, as well as if they are willing to answer the officer’s questions without an attorney present.
How Do Miranda Rights Affect Criminal Charges?
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot escape punishment if you are not read your Miranda rights by a law enforcement officer when you are arrested. However, if the police fail to read you these rights, the prosecutor in your case cannot use anything you say as evidence against you at trial. Still, there are additional exceptions to this rule, so the failure to read you your rights when you are taken into custody can have many different outcomes depending on the other details of your arrest, crime, and criminal proceedings.
Your Reliable Criminal Defense Lawyer in Towson, MD
If you believe your Miranda rights were violated or that you were not read your rights upon your arrest for criminal activity, contact the professionals at Albers & Associates. We are here to advocate for you and fight for fair treatment throughout the entirety of your criminal case. Reach out to us to schedule your free consultation for legal services in Towson, MD today.