If you watch television or movies, you may be familiar with the lines uttered each and every time by actors portraying the police while they slap on handcuffs during an arrest: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.” These rights aren’t just trivial lines in a script – these rights can protect you from serious legal consequences and help you to avoid major mistakes going forward.
Miranda rights basically protect you from further incrimination because you have a right to remain silent, and you have the right to have an attorney with you when the police interrogate you while you are in their custody. This means you do not need to answer questions from any law enforcement official if you choose not to, and you can wait to have your lawyer present. This is important because anything you say as the person accused of a crime (i.e. the defendant) can be used against you during your criminal case under the rules of evidence. Statements and admissions of guilt by the defendant are not considered hearsay even if they are said outside of the courtroom.
You also have the right to an attorney. An attorney can advise you on the best course of action throughout your case, ensuring that your rights and freedoms are protected, including deciding whether or not to answer any questions by the police.
What If I Wasn’t Read My Miranda Rights?
Being read your Miranda rights after being detained but prior to being interrogated is key for law enforcement officials to do. However, if it doesn’t happen just like television or the movies where the police officers read Miranda rights the moment the handcuffs come out, that doesn’t necessarily mean your rights have been violated or that the case against you must be dismissed.
If you were placed in a situation where the police have hampered your freedom of movement (i.e. by not letting you leave the scene or holding you at the police station or jail), and while there, the police question you, and you were not read your Miranda rights and never waived your rights verbally or in writing prior to answering questions, anything that you said during that period of time may not be admissible as evidence in your criminal case. If you made admissions of guilt under those circumstances, a well-trained attorney could file a motion to suppress your statements and argue to the court to strike your statements from the pool of evidence that the prosecution intends to use against you in trial. The suppression of your statement could even result in the prosecutors dropping your case entirely if your admissions were a key to proving the case against you.
When Miranda rights apply can be complex, and circumstances vary from case to case. Consult with a criminal defense lawyer about how your Miranda rights pertain to your case.
Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Uphold My Miranda Rights?
When you invoke your Miranda rights, police may be unable to question you without a criminal defense attorney by your side. In many situations, the best way to avoid negative legal consequences is by allowing a criminal defense attorney to speak to law enforcement on your behalf or advise you on your best course of action to limit the damage you can possibly do to the rest of your criminal defense. It is much more difficult for the police to use means of deceptions, trickery or to twist your words if you have a criminal defense attorney present with you for questioning.
Which Criminal Defense Law Firm is Right for Me?
Getting results when you need them the most is why you should consider hiring my experienced criminal defense law firm to handle your case. I can guide you through the entire criminal process if needed. I will do all that I can to uphold your rights and get you the best possible outcome for your criminal case. Contact the Sherman Defense Law Firm, P.A. today at (239) 284-5708 to get started.