Miranda v. Arizona – And How It Affects Your Case
June 13, 1966 is when Miranda v. Arizona was established. While it has been over 50 years since this occurred, it is important that every citizen in the country understands Miranda. Unfortunately, there are criminal defendants who still do not understand this very basic, simple constitutional right – and failure to understand it could result in serious consequences. Miranda Rights are real – not just something that you see on television; therefore, if you do not fully understand your Miranda Rights, now is the time to become familiar with them.
When Miranda Applies
Miranda does not apply in all instances of interaction between law enforcement and the public. But, if you are in the custody of law enforcement and they are asking you questions, you can invoke your right. When you are not in custody and you are making statements that are not solicited by questions, Miranda does not apply. Also, when Miranda doesn’t apply, anything you say can be used against you. When Miranda does apply, but you choose to speak with law enforcement anyway, you are waiving your rights – and everything you say will be used against you.
For example, if you are not in police custody, but are being detained for investigative purposes and the officer requests information without Mirandizing you, then anything you answer could be used against you.
Another example is when you are arrested. Any remarks that you make to law enforcement – even those not in response to a question – could be used against you.
This is why it is important that you request an attorney regardless of whether you are detained or not. You can remain silent until your attorney arrives to avoid having anything you say used against you later in court.
A Police Officer is Not Your Friend – But He or She Will Pretend to Be
Police officers are trained in investigative tactics, and especially in interrogation tactics. It is their job to solve crimes. They know how to get admissions, and then they use those for convictions; therefore, if you speak with police, they know how to manipulate you into giving them what they want. The most common way to do that is to pretend they are your friend. They will tell you that they understand what you are going through, or even act as though they are on your side. They may tell you that confessing to them will lessen the time you spend in jail.
One of the first things that officers may do is try to downplay your rights – convincing you that you do not need an attorney. The investigator will read you your Miranda Rights (as required by law), but then they will ask if you want to waive those rights. They will phrase it in a way that makes more sense to waive your rights.
Sometimes, they will even bring you food or drinks while you are waiting for questioning. They will do this to get on your side and make you think that they care. All of these methods are designed to gain your trust – and ultimately, get you to answer questions without invoking your rights.
Miranda v. Arizona
Miranda was a court case that made its way to the United States Supreme Court. In 1966, the decision was issued that the police’s questioning was improper. The police had not told the defendant at the time about his Fifth or Sixth Amendment rights. Because of their actions, it was decided that anything he said could not be used against him in court, because his constitutional rights were violated.
Enforce Your Rights – Contact an Attorney
You have the right to consult an attorney even if the police are questioning you. They cannot force you to speak. Therefore, it is always in your best interest to contact an attorney any time when you are approached or questioned by law enforcement. If you are arrested or accused of a crime, contact New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today to explore your options. Schedule a consultation now by calling 505-375-4661, or fill out our online contact form and someone will be in touch with you as soon as possible.