"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you." This is not just a script favorite in Law and Order it is also a direct copy/paste from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona.
The purpose of these statements is to clearly advise you of your rights, once you have been arrested. Pay close attention to that last part, officers are only required to provide you a warning of your Miranda rights once you are arrested. Therefore, if you begin speaking to an officer voluntarily and without being placed under arrest then the statements you give will likely be admissible in court even though you have not been properly advised of your rights. Furthermore, it is important to note the officer's failure to read you your rights will likely NOT invalidate an arrest. Miranda warnings typically apply only to statements made once under arrest.
Asserting your rights
Fortunately, however, you always have your constitutional rights from which your Miranda rights flow. These rights consist of the following: Your Fourth Amendment right to remain free of unreasonable searches and seizures by governmental officials, your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and your Sixth Amendment right to assistance of counsel, i.e., a lawyer, any time you possibly face criminal charges.
It goes without saying that you should never “mouth off” to law enforcement officers or argue with them. Rather, you should simply request a lawyer before answering any questions. Once you do so, officers must forego all further questioning until your lawyer is at your side to advise you. If you or someone you know has been arrested and has some questions regarding Miranda or rights involving in-custody questioning, call Lawrence Law Firm and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The blog published by Lawrence Law Firm is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.