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What Are Your Miranda Rights?

What Are Your Miranda Rights?

By now, most of us know at least part of the Miranda Rights (or "Miranda warning"). They have been featured in countless movies and television shows depicting law enforcement making an arrest. However, misconceptions about this critical criminal justice concept still persist and many who find themselves facing a criminal charge too often fail to recognize their importance.

First, let's take a look at the full Miranda warning:

  • 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 speak with an attorney and have one present during questioning.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
  • You can decide to exercise these rights at any time.

Why Miranda Rights Are Important

Law enforcement is required to recite your Miranda Rights upon an arrest for a very critical reason: to let citizens know that they do not have to answer questions (and have a right to counsel before doing so). This is so important because, in the past, some citizens either felt obligated to answer all of the police's questions or were illegally compelled to by officers and detectives willing to intimidate and manipulate those in custody.

Essentially, the Miranda Rights can prevent those in custody from needlessly incriminating themselves. They place a restriction on law enforcement's power to compel witnesses and suspects and generally help maintain the integrity of a criminal investigation.

Miranda Rights and "Invalidated Charges"

The most commonly believed misconception about the Miranda Rights is that, if they are not read during an arrest, then the charges against the individual taken into custody are somehow invalidated. Unfortunately for those counting on some kind of technicality to put an end to their legal troubles, this is not true.

What is true is that if police officers do not recite the Miranda warning during your arrest, any questioning that takes place following that arrest is inadmissible in court. So while it is true that the absence of a Miranda warning can have a highly significant bearing on a case, it does affect the original underlying charge against the accused.

Have more questions about your criminal charge? Ensure that your defense counsel is knowledgeable, trusted, and capable of results. Our sought-after, award-winning Buffalo criminal defense attorneys at The Rossi Law Firm are ready to review the circumstances of your case and launch a powerful, dynamic defense on your behalf.

Face this uncertain time with a proven advocate by your side. Contact us today.