Miranda rights are rights that you have any time you’re going to be questioned or interrogated by the police. Normally, they’re outlined for you before or during an arrest.
Not knowing what your Miranda rights are and what they can do for you could hurt your case, so it’s essential to know why they are available and when they apply.
What are your Miranda rights?
Miranda rights were first established in 1966 after the trial of Miranda v. Arizona. During that case, the court determined that the police need to inform people of their Fifth Amendment rights, such as staying silent to avoid making statements that incriminate you, any time they want to question someone in their custody.
- Give you the right to remain silent
- Tell you that what you say or do might be used against you in court
- Inform you of your right to work with an attorney
- Let you know that you can have an attorney appointed for you if you cannot afford to hire one
These are important rights that give you some control over your situation.
When will you be given your Miranda Rights?
You don’t technically need to be given your Miranda rights unless you’re being taken into police custody and will be interrogated. While many officers decide to give you your rights while arresting you, others may not do so until prior to a custodial interrogation. You don’t necessarily need to be read your rights if you’re just detained, but if you’re interrogated, you should have heard them already.
Regardless of whether you’ve heard your rights read to you or not, you should stay silent other than providing basic identification or answering the most basic questions. Avoid saying anything that could hurt your case or make you look guilty.
It’s possible that the police could fail to advise you of your rights. If they do that, then anything they learn during an interrogation may be able to be thrown out during court. This is something to keep in mind, because involuntary confessions or information given without knowing your rights may not be used.