Most of us have heard of the right to remain silent, but this phrase is just one part of the Miranda rights. What are your Miranda rights, and when do the authorities need to inform you of your rights?
What is a Miranda warning?
A Miranda warning, also called reading a person their Miranda rights, happens when the police take someone into custody. The police warn this person that the things they say could be used as evidence against them, that they may remain silent and that they have the right to speak to an attorney before speaking to the police in an interrogation.
When must the police read a suspect their Miranda rights?
The police warn a person about their Miranda rights when that person is in police custody and the officer is about to question them about the crime. This is an important element of police procedure and occurs during many arrests.
However, it is possible for the court to consider a Miranda warning unnecessary. For example, the officers have enough information to prosecute a person without interrogating them, they can be taken into custody without the officers reading them their rights.
It is also important to remember that the police do not have to read a person their Miranda rights each time they speak to them. For example, if the police were to interrogate you a second time, they would not need to remind you of your rights at that second interrogation.
If you wonder whether the police upheld your rights during your arrest, you may wish to speak to an attorney about your case.