Miranda – Flex Your Rights!
The term Miranda rights stems from the 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda vs Arizona. Miranda rights, also known as Miranda Warnings, require that a suspect in police custody be advised of certain constitutional rights before being interrogated.
If you are subject to interrogation while in custody, you must be notified that you have the following Miranda rights:
- You have the right to remain silent,
- Any statement you make may be used as evidence against you,
- You have the right to an attorney, and
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you prior to any questioning if you so desire.
When a police officer questions you in custody without first giving you the Miranda Warning, any statement or confession made by you will be presumed to be involuntary, and cannot be used against you in any criminal case.
When Does Miranda Apply?
Miranda Warnings apply whenever you are taken into custody, and prior to any interrogation that you are subject to.
You are in custody whenever you are arrested, or your freedom of movement is significantly restricted – in other words, whenever you have been arrested or reasonably feel that you are not free to go.
If you are unsure of whether or not you are free to go, simply ask the officers, “Am I free to go?” and continue to ask until you get an answer, or until you are actually allowed to leave. If you are not free to go, then you are in custody and Miranda applies.
How to Invoke Your Miranda Rights
To invoke your right to remain silent, simply state clearly, “I wish to remain silent” or “I have nothing to say.” In fact, no special words or statements are required, so long as you speak up and assert your right to remain silent.
You may assert your Miranda rights anytime the police question you, even if you have already answered some of their questions. However, the best time to assert your Miranda rights may be immediately after they have administered the Miranda Warning to you and before you answer any questions.
If the police fail to advise you of your Miranda rights, then any statement you make cannot be used as evidence against you in court. Moreover, any additional evidence that police discover as result of any statement you have made will be considered tainted and, therefore, may be inadmissible in court.
New Mexico Criminal Law Offices Can Help
Each case we handle is unique, and each client receives our full attention and thorough, personalized representation. Contact New Mexico Criminal Law Offices in Albuquerque by calling (505) 375-4664 today for a free initial consultation. Our aggressive representation and the bold strategies we employ could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.