Are Miranda Rights Required in Criminal Cases?
The Miranda Rights have been around for 50 years, yet many are unsure of the appropriate usage. These rights, also known as the Miranda Warnings, explain to a suspect being placed under arrest what their rights are in the situation. Most officers have presented the statement so many times, they rush through it haphazardly, without giving proper emphasis to allow the receiver to understand the message entirely. Although in television shows and other media all suspects are “Mirandized”, it is unnecessary for some situations. However, if the officer did not read you your rights when they should have, your case may be overturned in court.
What Are the Miranda Rights?
The Miranda Rights are named after Ernesto Miranda, the plaintiff in Miranda v. Arizona. Police accused Miranda of stealing $8.00 from an Arizona bank worker. After hours of grueling questioning, he finally confessed not only to the robbery but also to kidnapping and rape. Police never explained that he had a choice to concede; nor that he could hire an attorney. He was initially found guilty; a ruling which was later appealed when the Supreme Court ruled that the evidence was inadmissible because the officers never made him aware of his Constitutional rights. Since this case, any officer arresting someone for interrogation must recite the following:
“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?”
When Is Miranda Required?
An officer can arrest someone and charge them with a crime without reading them their rights first, so long as there is no intent to question them. For Miranda Rights to be a requirement, both of the following must be true:
- The suspect must be in custody; and
- The officer plans on questioning the suspect.
When Is a Suspect in Custody?
For a suspect to be considered “in custody,” their movement must be restricted in some way, such as when their hands are bound or if they are sitting in the back of a squad car. The officer does not have custody during a traffic stop or initial interrogation; therefore, anything said before any movement was restricted may be questionable.
What if My Miranda Rights Were Violated?
If an officer restricted your movement and began questioning procedures, you will want to discuss your options with a proven DuPage County criminal defense attorney. In some cases, the statements obtained may be suppressed or considered inadmissible to the court. If the prosecution no longer has enough evidence, they may dismiss the case entirely. The attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC have experience both as prosecutors and defense attorneys, giving you an advantage in this situation. We work diligently to protect the rights of our clients. Call us today at 630-580-6373 to discuss your options and minimize the potential consequences.