Understanding Your Miranda Rights
After being arrested, if you are taken into custody, law enforcement cannot question you without first reading your Miranda rights to you. It is important to note that the police are only required to read your Miranda rights if they intend to interrogate you under custody.
Police can arrest you without reading your rights to you but if they later decide to interrogate you, your rights must be read to you at that time. It is very important to understand what these rights mean. How you act and what you say following an arrest can have a huge impact on your case.
When a police officer reads your Miranda rights, the following must be included:
- You have the right to remain silent;
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law;
- You have the right to an attorney;
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you;
- “Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?”;
- “With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
Once a police officer has read your Miranda rights, you do not have to speak to the police officer or answer any questions until you speak to your lawyer first. An arrest can be very confusing and scary, and oftentimes people say things they do not mean or phrase their sentences incorrectly. Prosecutors, who have full access to all police reports, will use anything you say against you and will try to make you appear guilty. To keep this from happening, you can politely tell the officer that you understand your rights and wish not to speak to them until you have an attorney present.
Miranda also includes your right to an attorney. Legal representation in criminal cases is very important. A criminal defense attorney knows what to expect from the prosecution and will use this knowledge to defend you during your arrest and interrogation process.
What if the Police Officer Failed to Read Me My Miranda Rights?
If the police failed to read you your Miranda rights, once you are placed under arrest, anything you said in response to being questioned most likely cannot be used as evidence against you in court. Any evidence discovered as a result of your statement or confession will also likely be thrown out of the case. However, it is important to keep in mind that you will not automatically win your case just because the police failed to read you your Miranda rights.
Contact a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you believe that your Miranda rights have been violated or want to invoke your right to counsel after an arrest, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today. If a police officer failed to read you all of your rights, this could have a substantial impact on your case and could even lead to a dismissal of any charges against you. If you need an experienced attorney who will help you through the interrogation process and represent you in court proceedings, the Skinner Law Firm can assist you. Please call our office today at 610-436-1410 or schedule a consultation online.