An arrest can be a chaotic situation. But no matter how busy or convoluted it can get, law enforcement has guidelines they need to follow. Among those guidelines are reading a person their rights. There is a common misconception that says if a person isn’t read their rights, their entire case gets thrown out or they’re otherwise absolved of any legal consequences. This is not altogether true, but there are consequences.
Your rights, known officially as Miranda Rights, are a set of rights that are supposed to be read to someone who is being arrested. The Miranda Rights are as follows:
1. You have the right to remain silent.
2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law
3. You have the right to an attorney
4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you
5. Do you understand the rights I have read to you? With these in mind, do you wish to speak to me?
Regardless of where interrogation occurs, the rights must be read first if the person is in police custody. If a person is not read their rights, anything answered while in police custody cannot be used against the person in a court of law. It should be noted that if a person is not in police custody, reading the Miranda Rights is not required and any admission made could be used against them. Sometimes it’s difficult to discern whether or not one is in police custody, especially if the officer is simply asking questions. Many do not know they’re in police custody until it’s far too late.
If you or someone you know has been interrogated without having Miranda Rights read, don’t say another word. Contact a criminal defense attorney who could help. Contact the law offices of John W. Tumelty today to schedule your case consultation.