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5 things to know about Miranda rights

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Miranda rights are widely known because many police dramas and true crime shows show this part of interactions between suspects and police officers. They are named after a court case during which the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling regarding a person’s Fifth Amendment rights.

Anyone who is police custody and who is being interrogated should know their Miranda rights. Here are some points you should remember.

#1: Miranda rights must be read to you

Police officers must read you the Miranda rights. This has to include these points:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • You have the right to consult with an attorney
  • Statements you make can be used against you in your legal case
  • A lawyer can be provided if you can’t pay for one

#2: You must invoke your Miranda rights

Your Miranda rights aren’t automatic. You must make it clear to the officers that you’re invoking them. This occurs when you say something along the lines of “I choose to remain silent” or “I wish to speak to my attorney.”

#3: Questioning must stop once rights are invoked

Police officers have to stop all questioning once you invoke your rights. The invocation is complete, so they can’t just get new officers in to start questioning you again. You can’t make any statements or answer any questions once you invoke your rights.

#4: Intimidation isn’t allowed

Tactics that equal intimidation aren’t allowable, whether you invoke your rights or not. This means that officers can’t deprive you of sleep or starve you in order to force you to talk. If they employ those methods, your statements aren’t considered voluntary and aren’t admissible in the case against you.

#5: Violation of your rights can be part of a defense strategy

If police officers violate your rights, that information can be used as part of your defense strategy. Any information that’s provided during a violation of a person’s Miranda rights isn’t admissible in court. Discussing your case with someone familiar with these matters can help you to determine how you should handle your defense strategy.