Even though everyone has heard about the Miranda Rights, it’s possible that not everyone knows how they originated. They came to be in 1966 after the Miranda v. Arizona court case was heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. The High Court decided that the Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination extended to individuals who were in police custody. To make sure that their rights are safeguarded, it was decided that prior to questioning any suspect, law enforcement officials must inform them:

  • That they have the right to remain silent
  • That anything they say may be used against them in a court of law
  • That they have the right to have a lawyer present when they are being questioned by law enforcement
  • That if they are unable to afford an attorney, they will have one appointed to them

Why are the Miranda Rights important and when should they be read to an individual?

They are important because if an individual is not warned of their Fifth Amendment rights while they are in custody, any answer they give when questioned cannot be used against them in court. They must be read when the person is in custody and being questioned. Custody in this case does not refer to being placed in a police car or station but when they have had their “freedom of action restricted in any significant way” making it difficult for them to end the interaction with the police.

Keep in mind that if you have not been arrested and are not in custody but you do answer questions you may end up giving the police incriminating evidence that may be just what they needed to be able to arrest you. Try very hard to avoid giving law enforcement officers any information they will later be able to use against you. This is the best advice any lawyer can give you.

Must you answer questions by police if you have not been arrested?

You don’t have to answer any questions, even if you have been arrested. Also, you cannot be arrested simply for refusing to answer a question. There is, however, some information that you must provide such as your identification.

So, if you are not read the Miranda Rights does that mean you have not been arrested?

No, you may be arrested even without having the Miranda Rights read to you. What it means only is that the information you give them in response to being questioned while in custody cannot be used for most purposes as evidence at a trial. The fact that the Miranda Rights were not read to you doesn’t mean necessarily that the police officers coerced a statement out of you. It only means that your statement will be considered inadmissible, as well as any evidence that they obtained during those circumstances.

Talk to a Lawyer Now and Get the Help you Need

You may be having some questions regarding your Miranda rights and whether they were read to you when they should have been or not. And your doubts are understandable because this is not an easy subject. Lawyer Parikh can not only help you with this topic but will work with you to get your case resolved quickly and in the most beneficial way.

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