Miranda rights are an important component of the American justice system, and it’s crucial to understand just what these rights entail. At Kenai, AK-based law firm Walton, Theiler & Winegarden, a criminal defense attorney can help make sense of the inalienable rights afforded to you, while also offering legal options if these rights are violated.
What Are Miranda Rights?
Miranda rights are essential pieces of information that must be conveyed to you by an arresting police officer before you can be questioned. You must be informed of your right to stay silent during questioning, that you have a right to legal counsel (and that a criminal defense attorney can be appointed whether or not you can afford one), and that all admissions can be used against you in court.
What Happens When A Police Officer Fails To Read Them?
Miranda rights must be read every time an arrest takes place, despite where or when the arrest happens. If questioning occurs without Miranda rights first being read, all subsequent admissions are no longer able to be used as evidence. In some cases, officers will attempt to question a suspect without actually making an arrest. As a result, Miranda rights need not be read, and anything admitted during questioning can be used in court.
Are There Exceptions?
If public safety is determined to be at stake, police are allowed to use un-Mirandized statements to follow up on leads. There is also the doctrine of “inevitable discovery”; this refers to situations where it is assumed that police will discover evidence regardless of questioning. Any witnesses uncovered during questioning that was not preceded by a Miranda warning are also free to offer testimony during a trial.
Criminal charges accompanying an arrest require a solid criminal defense attorney to mitigate any potential ill-effects. Contact Walton, Theiler & Winegarden today to learn more about your legal options when faced with the serious consequences of a criminal conviction. Call (907) 283-5774 to schedule your initial consultation in Kenai, or learn more about hiring a defense lawyer by visiting this firm online.