At any point in your life, you could find yourself facing an unexpected legal situation. Though the details of the predicament could range to include numerous scenarios, you may feel unprepared for any incident that may require legal action. If you find yourself charged with a crime, you may feel particularly shocked and overwhelmed by the arrest and have many questions regarding the legal proceedings ahead.
Because there are many elements to an arrest, you may find it useful to gain as much information about your particular predicament as possible. If you believe that the arresting officer did not follow proper procedures, you may have reason to bring his or her actions into question. Specifically, you may have concerns regarding your Miranda Rights.
You may have commonly heard individuals refer to reading someone his or her rights or to the Miranda Rights themselves. However, you may not fully know what those rights are and when someone may have violated them. The Miranda Rights essentially reiterate your right not to incriminate yourself as given under the Fifth Amendment. Therefore, authorities should inform you of the following information during an arrest:
- Your right to remain silent
- The fact that anything you disclose can and will be used against you during legal proceedings
- Your right to an attorney
- The fact that an attorney will be provided for you if you cannot afford one
Providing this information became standard procedure after a U.S. Supreme Court case that took place in 1966.
Were you told your Miranda Rights?
Even if you already know what your rights under the Fifth Amendment are, an arresting officer must still inform you of those rights. If he or she does not, the court will likely deem inadmissible any information you disclosed after your arrest or any evidence that information may have uncovered. As a result, authorities cannot use it against you during your court proceedings.
This failure to follow proper procedure on the part of an officer could play a considerable role in your criminal defense. Therefore, you may wish to ensure that you assess your arrest and subsequent questioning closely. Additionally, you may also want to gain more information on the charges brought against you and what defense options could potentially allow you to work toward your desired outcomes.