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Indianapolis Criminal & OWI Lawyers > Blog > Criminal Defense > Understanding Miranda Rights

Understanding Miranda Rights


As criminal defense attorneys, people call us after they have been approached by law enforcement officers, expressing their concerns about their Miranda rights not being read to them. If the police have recently approached you, you may be wondering about your Miranda rights. Often, people assume that the police must read Miranda warnings at every interaction. Below, we discuss when a Miranda warning is required and not required and what happens if the police fail to read your Miranda rights.

What Are Your Miranda Rights?

Miranda rights, also called the Miranda warning, originated from a 1966 Supreme Court Case, Miranda v. Arizona.  The law requires that people be informed of their Miranda rights when they are in police custody and before the police question them. The following are the fundamental Miranda rights that you must be informed of after an arrest and before questioning;

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything you say  can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  3. You have the right to consult with a lawyer before answering questions and have a lawyer with you during any questioning.
  4. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be provided free of cost if you desire one.
  5. You have the right to stop answering questions at any time.

It is vital to note that police officers are not required to read your Miranda rights word for word. As long as a police officer informs you of your Miranda rights in a manner that fully conveys the information, that is enough.

When Is a Miranda Warning Required?

Unlike what many people think, police officers are not required to read the Miranda warning at every interaction. The two prerequisites before an officer is required to read your Miranda rights are if you are under arrest or in police custody and if the police officer plans on questioning you. If you are not in police custody or under arrest, and the police are not planning on interrogating you, a Miranda warning is not required.

It is crucial to note that an officer is free to ask questions before arresting you without reading your Miranda rights, and any answers you provide are admissible in court. This is called a consensual encounter. It is also important to note that a police officer can arrest you without reading your Miranda rights. These rights are not meant to protect you from being arrested or charged. The police simply need probable cause to arrest you. However, after being taken into custody or being arrested, the police are required to read your Miranda rights before interrogation sessions.

What if the Police Don’t Read Your Miranda Rights Before Questioning You?

If the police take you into custody or arrest you and then question you without reading your Miranda rights, whatever you say in response to the questions is inadmissible in a court of law. Additionally, evidence obtained through an illegal interrogation will be inadmissible in court unless it can be shown that the evidence would have been inevitably discovered without your illegally obtained statement.

Contact an Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer

Do you believe the police have violated your Miranda rights? Contact a qualified Indiana criminal defense lawyer at Rigney Law LLC to schedule a free consultation.

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