Anybody who has watched a television show or movie knows about the suspect being told that they have the right to remain silent. Practically every observer, even those without law degrees, can recite these lines by heart. This is also known as Miranda Rights, and there is a legal purpose behind this.
These rights come from the Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona. In that case, the defendant was arrested in his home and brought to the police station for questioning. He was interrogated for over two hours without being advised of his right to an attorney. He made a confession, which law enforcement tried to use against him at trial. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed his conviction to the extent that it was based on his confession.
What Police Must Say When They Make an Arrest
When police arrest someone, they have to affirmatively let them know that they:
- Have the right to remain silent
- Have a legal right to an attorney
- Anything that they say otherwise can be used against them in court
If the defendant keeps talking at that point, they can incriminate themselves. Nonetheless, the warning is a procedural safeguard to protect the defendant’s legal rights. If the police obtain a confession without advising the defendant of their legal rights, it can be thrown out. The prosecution will need to show that these warnings were given, and that the defendant waived them by continuing to talk or answer questions after that point.
Consult with a Sacramento and Marin County Criminal Defense Lawyer
In reality, Miranda Rights issues are more complicated because police have crafty ways around them. This requires a lawyer to defend you and challenge the evidence. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, call a Sacramento criminal defense lawyer at Mason Law Office at 833.717.1127 or contact us online to get the legal advice and protection that you need.