Many additions to the federal Constitution and prior court rulings help protect those accused of crimes. Every person in the United States has specific legal rights when the police investigate them or arrest them. The average person may only have a basic understanding of how the law protects people involved in the criminal justice system.
Although many people don’t know all of their legal rights if the police arrest them, they do know about their Miranda rights. After all, the Miranda Warning is a common feature in both movies and police-based television shows.
Most people could recite the basic language of the Miranda Warning from memory because they have heard it so many times when entertaining themselves. Although people know that officers should tell them about their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney, they may still fail to understand the actual rules because of how Hollywood dramatizes the Miranda Warning. Does an officer failing to read you the warning have any impact on your defense options?
The Miranda Warning isn’t always necessary
When a police officer pushes someone into the backseat of their cruiser or puts them in handcuffs after chasing them from a crime scene, they don’t have to read the Miranda rights to that individual. Regardless of how the media makes it look, the Miranda Warning is not part of the arrest procedure.
Instead, it is a crucial warning given to someone facing interrogation or questioning by the police while in state custody. For the police to legally question someone who is already in their custody, they must ensure that that individual knows their Miranda rights. They will even need to provide translation services for those who have problems with hearing loss or who speak another language.
If the police question someone before arresting them or do not question someone after arresting them, they could charge that individual and never provide them with the Miranda Warning. However, if the police question someone after arresting them without informing them of their Miranda rights, that mistake could have an impact on any resulting criminal proceedings.
Understanding your rights can help you better plan a criminal defense strategy after your arrest.