You were driving faster than you should have been, and you were pulled over. The officer claims you were traveling fast enough that he has to arrest you. He believes you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs based on a failed field sobriety test and your reckless driving.

You’re taken into custody and go all the way to the police station. At that point, you realize that no one has given you your rights. Should they have?

What are the Miranda Rights?

Miranda Rights state that whenever you are taken into police custody, you must be told of your right to remain silent and not to state anything that could incriminate you. This is a right guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Since 1966, and following the case of Miranda v. Arizona, all officers must state four things before you are questioned.

They must tell you that you have the right to remain silent. They need to tell you that you have a right to an attorney. The officers must inform you that if you say something, it can and will be used against you in court. Additionally, the officer must tell you that if you’re unable to afford an attorney, you will have one appointed to your case.

What happens if the rights aren’t read?

If you are questioned without first having your Miranda Rights read, then anything you say will not be admissible in court. The statement is presumed involuntary when you have not yet had the Miranda Rights read to you. You can use the failure to read the Miranda Rights as a defense.

Officers don’t always need to read the Miranda Rights to you. If you’re not being arrested or taken into custody, you may not have them read. It’s still in your best interests to talk to your attorney if you’re unfamiliar with your rights in a given situation.