If you are arrested and are not made aware of your rights before being questioned by the police, your Miranda rights have been breached.
Those who are arrested and charged with a crime in Austin, Texas, and the surrounding areas have certain legal rights that are provided by the U.S. Constitution, state and federal laws, and also case law. One important right is the right to be read one’s Miranda rights. The following provides an overview of the basics of Miranda rights—also called the Miranda warning—and how to know if your rights have been violated. If you have more questions, reach out to the law office of Granger and Mueller PC directly.
What are Miranda Rights?
Arising out of the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, the Miranda warning is a constitutional requirement that goes into effect when a person is arrested and police intend to interrogate the person while in police custody. In the court case referenced above, the court decided that a suspect cannot be questioned by police during an interrogation until they are made aware of their constitutional rights. As such, police are now required to read suspects their Miranda rights, which state: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”
Breaking this down a bit, police are essentially required to let a suspect know that:
- They do not have to answer the police officer’s questions. If they do answer questions, then any answers they give can be used as evidence against them in court to help the prosecution’s case.
- They have the right to legal counsel. They do not have to answer questions before speaking to an attorney. If they cannot pay for an attorney, the court will appoint an attorney on their behalf.
How are Miranda Rights Violated?
Miranda rights are violated when the police fail to tell a suspect in police custody that they have the above rights. Note that if a suspect does not speak English, the police are required to read the suspect their rights in the suspect’s spoken language. Also remember that police are not required to read you your rights until you are arrested or/and in police custody. So, if you are simply stopped on the street, stopped for a traffic violation, or if police show up at your front door and do not arrest you, the police do not have to read you your rights. If you are being held against your will, on the other hand, then you are in police custody and must be read your Miranda rights.
What Happens if Miranda Rights are Breached?
If your Miranda rights are violated, your attorney may be able to suppress your statements and have them withheld as evidence in court.
The most important thing that you can do when you are being interrogated by the police or are arrested is to exercise your right to legal counsel. At the law office of Granger and Mueller PC, our Austin criminal defense attorneys will provide you with experienced legal defense that you can trust. Reach out to us today by phone or online to learn more about how our team can protect your rights when you are facing criminal charges.