You have probably heard of your Miranda rights, especially if you watch a lot of police procedural dramas. The police on these programs will read suspects their rights, typically as they are being arrested with handcuffs. Unfortunately, there are a lot of mistaken beliefs about Miranda rights.
TV Misrepresents Miranda Rights
For one, police officers do not have to read you your rights as you are being arrested. Your rights are not violated if the officer who arrests you does not read you your rights at that very moment.
Officers Read Your Miranda Rights in Specific Situations
There are some specific cases in which an officer needs to read you the Miranda rights. For example, the officer has to tell you about your rights before an interrogation when you are in police custody. Some key features are involved that prompt an officer to read you the rights.
First, the officers have to read you the rights if you are questioned by law enforcement or somebody acting on behalf of law enforcement. Next, Miranda rights are necessary only when you are in custody. You are in police custody if you are handcuffed or in a patrol car, for example. You can be in custody without being arrested. Custody can be a bit tricky. If you are taken out of a police car and unhandcuffed, you may not technically be in custody. This is where a lot of disputes about Miranda rights come into play.
What Do Miranda Rights Offer?
Your Miranda rights give you the right to remain silent during the interrogation. It also informs you that anything you say during the interrogation may be used against you. The rights also tell you that you have the right to an attorney when you are questioned and that the state will give you an attorney if you cannot afford one.
The important thing to remember about your Miranda rights is that you need to assert them. You have to tell the officers that you do not wish to speak.
What If You Are Not Told Your Rights?
If you are not properly informed of your rights, your charges are not automatically dismissed. Instead, any statements you made during the interrogation up to the point at which you were told your rights will not be allowed in the prosecution's case as evidence.
If you were not properly told your rights before interrogation in your DWI case, you may be able to have certain information stricken from the record. In order to do this, you likely need to hire an attorney. Call a lawyer like Carl L. Britt, Jr. to discuss your charges.