“Did they read you your rights?” This question is commonly asked of defendants by their defense attorneys during one of their earliest interactions. An experienced Clemson criminal defense attorney understands that a police officer failing to read your Miranda Rights may lead to a case being dismissed.
Below is an overview of the key highlights of Miranda Rights and what you need to know about them. If you or a loved one is facing charges, contact Boatwright Legal for help today.
Miranda Rights and Your Criminal Defense Attorney
Chances are that you are already somewhat familiar with what is known as the “Miranda Warning.” Most television shows and movies that include a scene where a law enforcement officer arrests someone will at least partially reference the Miranda Warning in their scripts.
The “Miranda Warning” is a series of warnings that a police officer is required to reference when detaining someone, according to the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.
Three rights are highlighted during a Miranda Warning, including a person’s right to:
- Remain silent.
- Consult with an attorney and have him or her present during questioning.
- Have an attorney appointed if they are financially unable to afford one.
What if the Officer Never Gave the Miranda Warning?
As mentioned, your Miranda Rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution. These rights specifically originate from the Fifth Amendment which allows you to protect yourself from self-incrimination. In addition, Miranda Rights are further enhanced by the right for you to have counsel represent you in a courtroom provided by the Sixth Amendment.
If the police officer who detained you forgot to issue the Miranda Warning, then any statements that you make could be classified as inadmissible at trial thanks to the exclusionary rule. That rule prevents people from using evidence at a trial that violated the U.S. Constitution in the way that it was gathered.
However, there are some instances in which the Miranda Warning does not hold as much weight when it comes to how your arrest, detention, or corresponding court case is handled.
When is the Miranda Warning Not Necessary?
There are two specific conditions under which the Miranda Warning is not necessary to collect admissible evidence and statements: routine questions and voluntary confessions. Officers can ask a detainee basic questions about their full name, address, and other similar questions that disclose general information. The key is that these questions cannot be related to the crime whatsoever without having the Miranda Warning read to the detainee.
Another step that would legally remove the need for the Miranda Warning from the equation is a voluntary confession. If you decided to voluntarily confess to committing the crime without the police officers interrogating you, then your confessional statement is viewed as admissible in court.
On the other hand, if a confession was coerced by force, then it becomes inadmissible. This is where your criminal defense attorney in South Carolina will come in handy – especially if there is anything illegal or unlawful regarding how your arrest or detention was handled.
Examining the History of Miranda Rights
Where did the name “Miranda Rights” come from? That term was not created by the founding fathers when they first created the U.S. Constitution. The term was not used until the late 1960s after the arrest of Ernesto Miranda back in 1966.
Miranda was arrested after allegedly stealing $8 from the store clerk. He was then interrogated for two hours without any legal assistance or guidance from a criminal defense attorney. In addition to eventually signing a confession for the theft, he also confessed to the charges associated with a kidnapping and rape.
Call a Clemson Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation
One of the first steps towards protecting your rights after an arrest is to call a criminal defense attorney in Clemson, South Carolina. The last thing you want to do is to assume that you can represent yourself or just hope for the best outcome.
Schedule a free consultation with Boatwright Legal as soon as possible so that you can review the pertinent details about your case with a seasoned professional. Doing so will help you to get your questions answered and put you on the right path towards justice.