If you’re arrested for violating a criminal law, you have rights under the U.S. Constitution. In 1966, a historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court clarified the rights of persons under arrest and required law enforcement officials to inform arrestees of their rights before asking questions. Here’s what you should know about these crucial protections.
Understanding Your Miranda Rights
What Are They?
Police officers read criminal law suspects their Miranda rights, sometimes called Miranda warnings, when placing them under arrest. Suspects have the right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination because anything they say may be used against them in a court of law. They also have the right to an attorney. If they want an attorney but can’t afford one, one must be appointed for them before questioning.
Why Were They Established?
In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Arizona for kidnapping and rape. After hours of questioning, he confessed to the crimes. A jury considered his written confession as evidence of guilt and convicted him. Miranda appealed his convention to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On appeal, in Miranda v. Arizona, the court ruled that the officers violated Miranda’s right against self-incrimination and the right to counsel under the Fifth Amendment. Before questioning him, Miranda wasn’t informed of his Fifth Amendment rights. He did not have to talk to the police, and he could confer with an attorney. As a result of this landmark court decision, Miranda’s confession was thrown out, and his conviction was reversed.
How Do They Protect Suspects?
Once you say you want an attorney, the police won’t question you about a crime. They can ask questions about your name, Social Security number, address, and date of birth, which are necessary for identification during booking. In general, statements you make while in custody can’t be used against you unless arresting officers have read your Miranda rights to you.
If you’re facing criminal law charges and think your Miranda rights were violated, seek counsel from Kevin R. Bryant Attorney at Law in Crossville, TN. This seasoned criminal defense lawyer has more than 16 years of experience protecting the rights of accused clients throughout Cumberland County. To learn more about the firm’s services, visit their website, and call (931) 787-1004 to schedule a consultation.