You may not know what they are called, or why they are so named, but most everyone has heard that, if arrested, they have the “right to remain silent.” On TV shows and in movies, they refer to the process as “being read your (Miranda) rights.”
Police officers have a duty to advise you of these rights if they arrest and charge you with a crime. Miranda rights were the outcome of a US Supreme Court case in 1996: Miranda v. Arizona. If you are not read your rights at the time of arrest, law enforcement officials are not permitted to speak with you.
Anyone facing criminal charges has four specific rights:
- The right to remain silent
- The right to have an attorney present
- The right to have an attorney provided for you if you want one but cannot afford one
- The right to know that anything you say from the moment of your arrest forward “can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
Now, in some cases, police do forget to read a suspect their rights. If this happened to you or someone you know, it doesn’t necessarily mean the case will be automatically dismissed. Without having read you these Miranda rights, any information you give to police officers may not be able to be used as evidence against you. Further, if they do interrogate you without having Mirandized you, the case could be thrown out of court. You should speak with a skilled criminal lawyer who can explain your rights and protect your interests.
If you were arrested and charged with a crime in New Jersey, but were not read your rights or if you were not given the opportunity to contact an attorney, don’t wait another moment. Callthe experienced criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty for sound legal advice.