Whether you’re a die-hard true crime fan or have only seen a few episodes of Law and Order, the following phrase is one you’re probably very familiar with: ‘You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law’. While the idea behind those words seems straightforward, the truth is there is much more to your Miranda Rights than you realize. Having a good understanding of your rights can make a world of difference if you ever find yourself in a situation with law enforcement.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about your Miranda Rights.
The History of Miranda Rights
The term Miranda Rights came into existence after a landmark supreme court case that took place in 1966. The case was centered around an Arizona man named Ernesto Miranda who was arrested for stealing $8 from a local bank. Miranda ultimately confessed to the crime (as well as others) and was found guilty. However, his lawyer argued that the conviction should be overturned because Miranda was never informed of his constitutional right to a lawyer and his right to remain silent when questioned by police.
Ultimately, it was decided that Miranda’s confession(s) should not have been used as evidence because he wasn’t aware of his rights. Since this ruling, law enforcement is required to give suspects a Miranda warning informing them of their rights.
The goal is to ensure that all suspects are aware of their constitutional rights. However, there are still some questions that police can ask without giving a Miranda Warning such as:
- Your name
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
What Do Your Miranda Rights Entail
When you’re being read your Miranda Rights, you must be informed of the following things:
- The Right to Remain Silent – People who are being questioned by police are not required to answer any questions or make any statements. Choosing to remain silent cannot be held against you. However, The Supreme Court has ruled that pre-Miranda silence can be used as evidence.
- Anything You Say Can Be Held Against You – If you do decide to speak with authorities, it’s important to know that anything you say could end up being used against you.
- The Right to An Attorney – If you become the suspect of a crime, you have a right to legal counsel. If you’re unable to afford an attorney, one will be provided to you. Working with an attorney can ensure that you’re completely aware of your situation and have a full understanding of your rights in their entirety.
Have Your Miranda Rights Been Violated?
If you’ve been arrested and/or questioned by law enforcement in the Tampa Bay area without being given a Miranda Warning anything you’ve said could potentially be deemed inadmissible. This is also true if your Miranda Warning was only partially read.
Fernandez & Hernandez can assess your situation and educate you on the best course of action. The attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez have many years of experience and are experts in finding solutions. If you need legal assistance in regards to your Miranda Rights, call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353.