Before questioning and during or after arrest, police officers must verbalize your Miranda rights. This law originated from the landmark Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona, addressing custodial interrogations.
The warning informs you of your rights before any questioning takes place and safeguards your constitutional protections.
The right to remain silent
One of the most well-known aspects of Miranda rights is the right to remain silent. This means that individuals do not have to answer any questions posed by law enforcement officers. Remaining silent prevents you from making statements that could incriminate you.
The right to an attorney
You also have the right to have a lawyer present during questioning. This is to ensure that you have someone who can provide legal advice and guidance during the often stressful process of interrogation.
Understanding your rights
By knowing these rights, individuals can make informed decisions during interactions with law enforcement. For example, if the police question you without reading your Miranda rights aloud, any statements you make during the interrogation are likely not admissible in court.
Exercising your rights
Exercising your Miranda rights is a personal decision. If you choose to remain silent or request an attorney before questioning, law enforcement should respect this decision.
You also have the right to waive your Miranda rights, either implicitly or explicitly, and speak to law enforcement without an attorney present. The court will explore the circumstances surrounding your waiver to ensure it was voluntary.
The only exceptions to the Miranda rights requirement are in cases where the person in custody is a risk to public safety.