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An Albuquerque Criminal Lawyer Explains Miranda Rights
07 Sep 2015

An Albuquerque Criminal Lawyer Explains Miranda Rights

Albuquerque Criminal LawyerAs an Albuquerque criminal lawyer will explain after an arrest, the police are required to read the accused person what are known as the Miranda Rights. These rights explain certain laws related to questioning and must be read prior to any interrogation. Many people are confused about these rights mean and how they may apply in a criminal proceeding.

History of Miranda Rights

In 1966, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a suspect has the right to remain silent and that prosecutors may not use statements made against a suspect unless the police have advised them of their rights. The case, Miranda v. Arizona involved Ernesto Miranda who was arrested for the armed robbery of a bank employee. During an interrogation, Miranda not only confessed to the robbery, but also to the rape of an 18-year-old girl 11 days prior to the robbery. Lawyers argued that Miranda had never been informed that he could remain silent and the Supreme Court agreed, throwing out the confession and establishing that all suspects must be read their rights prior to an interrogation. In 1964, another trial, Escobedo v. Illinois provided that a suspect has the right to counsel during police questioning. In 1968, the text for what became the Miranda Warning was created by California deputy attorney general, Doris Maier, and district attorney, Harold Berliner.

What Are Miranda Rights?

Police officers are required to inform you, as soon as you are arrested and prior to questioning, of your rights. An officer must state that you:

  • Have the right to remain silent
  • Anything said to the officer may be used against you in a court of law
  • You have the right to have a lawyer present during questioning
  • If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to you if you so desire

When Miranda Rights Apply

Miranda rights must be read once you are in custody. This means that you are not free to go, whether it is at the jail, police station or on the street. The police must inform you of your rights before you are questioned in order to use any statements you make in court. If you are not placed in police custody, such as when the police tell you that you are free to leave at any time, they do not have to read you your rights during questioning. However, if you make incriminating statements, they can then place you under arrest, even if you have not been read your rights. Prior to your arrest, you are not required to answer an officer’s questions as you cannot be arrested for refusing to answer. You may be required to provide identification, but you do not have to answer specific questions about a crime. Once the officer charges you and reads you your rights, most attorneys advise clients to remain silent as suspects often unwittingly provide evidence that can be used at trial.

Failure to Read Rights

If a police officer fails to read you your rights, it does not mean you avoid punishment for a crime. If a police officer questions you without reading you your rights, anything you say during that questioning cannot be used against you in court. However, you can still be convicted of a crime by witness testimony or other evidence.

Hire an Albuquerque Criminal Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been arrested and the officer did not ready you your Miranda Rights prior to questioning, you need to speak to an Albuquerque criminal lawyer. Contact the Twohig Law Firm today to learn what rights you may have in your case. You can reach them online or by calling 505-898-0400 to arrange a consultation regarding your next steps.

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