What are Miranda Rights?
Named after the Miranda v Arizona case, the Miranda Rights refers to the US Supreme Court case decision to protect a suspect’s Fifth and Sixth Amendment (rights against self-incrimination and right to counsel).
After the Miranda warnings were mandated in 1966, law enforcement officers can only ask for limited information from criminal suspects who have not been read their Miranda rights. These include, but are not limited to:
If the officer who arrested or interrogated you failed to read your Miranda rights, any other information you provide without being “Mirandized” is inadmissible in court. If you have concerns about your or a loved one’s recent arrest, reach out to a trusted Texas criminal defense attorney to get legal help.
What is the Miranda Warning?
In Texas criminal law, there are five (5) elements in a Miranda warning. The wording is typical as follows:
- 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 provided 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?
A Texas Miranda lawyer can help you determine what legal actions you can take if a police officer failed to provide your Miranda warnings.
What if the police didn’t read me my Miranda Rights?
It’s important to keep in mind that Miranda warnings are only administered in certain situations. If you weren’t in custody at the time of police questioning, there is no need for police officers to administer Miranda warnings.
If you weren’t made aware of your Miranda rights before a custodial interrogation, you should contact a Richmond criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
When is a person considered “in custody”?
You don’t need to be arrested to be considered “in custody.” Rather, the law says that you are in custody any time you are deprived of your freedom of movement in a significant way. Consider this question:
Would a reasonable person feel free to end the questioning and walk away?
If you answered no, then you’re in custody. If you’re still unsure whether you should’ve been read your rights, schedule a free consultation with our experienced Miranda lawyer in Richmond, TX today.
Texas Miranda Rights Explained
Just because you know the Miranda warning doesn’t mean you already understand what your Miranda rights are. We’ll go through the five parts of a Miranda warning and explain which constitutional rights are being addressed by each.
You have the right to remain silent.
The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution protects the criminally accused against self-incrimination. This means that if an officer wants to question you, you can invoke your Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent so you don’t incriminate yourself.
In most cases, it is in your best interest to stay silent and avoid making any statements until you’ve consulted with your criminal defense lawyer.
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
The reason why it’s best to avoid giving statements to the police because whatever you say can and will be used against you in court. Whatever you testify and do during the police interrogation will not only be used against you, but will most likely be used by the prosecution in a way that’s most harmful to your case in court.
If you believe you have made a statement that can incriminate you, consult your Richmond criminal defense attorney immediately. An experienced Miranda lawyer can help you evaluate if it was self-incriminating and determine the best action to take for your criminal defense case.
You have the right to an attorney.
The Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right of criminal accused, including the right to a criminal defense attorney. This means that if you request an attorney, all questioning must cease until you get an attorney.
However, it’s important to note that this constitutional right is not automatically given but must be invoked. If you choose to exercise your right to an attorney (and you should), make sure to clearly state that you want an attorney and that you will not talk until you have one.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
Your right to an attorney does not require that you be able to afford one. If you invoke your right to an attorney but cannot afford to retain one, the police should work with the court to get you a court-appointed attorney who can advise you of your rights and provide legal assistance when you respond or refuse to answer any questions asked by the police.
Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?
The last part of the Miranda warning asks you to acknowledge that the officer has given the Miranda warning and provides an opportunity to waive your Miranda rights if you wish so. If you choose to answer the officers’ questions after you were Mirandized, then you have waived your Miranda rights and whatever you say or confess to can be admissible in court.
Call a Richmond Criminal Defense Attorney Today!
If you’re unsure how to respond to police interrogations, it’s better to plead the fifth and reach out to a local criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Our Texas criminal defense law firm has offices in Richmond and Katy to better serve your legal needs. We assist in various criminal cases, including DUI or DWI, drug crimes, domestic violence, assault, and more.