Although people may think they are familiar with Miranda Warnings from seeing them given on television, they frequently misunderstand when the Miranda Warning is required. With this in mind, the following is information on what your Miranda Rights are and when they are applicable during an arrest. If you believe your rights may have been violated, consult with a Manassas criminal lawyer today.
In most cases, a Miranda Warning is not necessary at the time of the arrest. The Miranda Warnings are required because of the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, which requires that when an individual is under arrest (or their freedom is restricted to a degree associated with arrest) and questioned by the police, police must let the individual know:
(1) That he has a right to remain silent,
(2) That anything that he says can and will be used against him in a court of law, and
(3) That he has a right to an attorney.
Without these instructions from the police, the answers to questions that the individual gives are inadmissible as evidence in court.
For example, if an individual is having a conversation with the police but is not in police custody (i.e. the individual is free to leave), a Miranda Warning is not required. Thus, the police may testify as to the statements that the individual makes under those circumstances.
The most common example of this is DUI cases. In the case of a DUI, the police will have collected all of the evidence that they need by the time the arrest is made, and will not likely need to question the individual post-arrest. There is no reason to give the Miranda Warnings in this situation.
The most important thing to remember about Miranda warnings is that if you have received one, you should be remaining silent until you can talk to an attorney.
An individual has the right to speak to an attorney pre-arrest, so long as they are not in the process of the arrest itself. In other words, if there is an ongoing investigation, an individual has the right to speak to an attorney at the office or on the telephone to seek advice about what to do regarding the police or the investigation.
If the person is in the process of being arrested and placed in handcuffs, or in a police car and booked at the station, they do not have the right to speak to an attorney during that process. They will have the right to speak to an attorney after that process is over. However, if the individual asks to speak with an attorney during this time, this will prevent police from questioning the individual further.
If a person has been read his Miranda Warning by the police, it is critical that he speak to an attorney before he makes any further statements to the police. A Miranda Warning is given by the police to inform an individual of their rights before they are questioned for information that may be used against him in court. By properly giving the Miranda Warning, police will, in fact, be able to use in court any post-arrest statements the accused makes after the Warning. After a Miranda Warning has been given, an individual must speak to a lawyer before he makes any statements whatsoever to the police.
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