Most of you readers are probably familiar with Miranda Warnings:
- 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 an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
- Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?
- With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
Whether you heard them uttered on “Law and Order” or thrown around in your favorite movie, while most people are aware of the Miranda Warning they do not understand when these valuable rights come into play.
The “Miranda Warning” (also referred to as “Miranda rights”) is a warning given by police in the United States to criminal suspects in police custody (or in a custodial interrogation) before they are interrogated to preserve the admissibility of their statements against them in criminal proceedings.
For Miranda to trigger it doesn’t matter whether an interrogation occurs in a jail, at the scene of a crime, on a busy downtown street, or the middle of an open field: However the key to focus on is (1) Is the person in custody (deprived of his or her freedom of action in any significant way), and (2) is there an interrogation – if the answer is yes then the police must give a Miranda warning!
If a person is not in police custody, however, no Miranda warning is required! And anything the person says can be used at trial if the person is later charged with a crime. This exception most often comes up when the police stop someone on the street to question him or her about a recent crime or the person blurts out a confession before the police have an opportunity to deliver the warning!
The best advice an attorney can give is to keep you mouth shut when being questioned after an arrest, at least until after consulting an attorney! Suspects all too frequently unwittingly reveal information that can later be used as evidence of their guilt and sink their defense.
If you or someone you love find yourself facing criminal charges contact the Law Office of John E. Kusturiss, Jr., P.L.L.C. today for a free consultation. Attorney’s Kusturiss and Poole have been handling Criminal Matters for more than thirty years and are ready and able to defend you!