If there is any one topic that causes an incredible amount of consternation and debate in the criminal justice system, it is Miranda rights. Everyone you ask has an opinion on what Miranda rights are, but very few people understand their history and how they are applied. This includes many law enforcement officers and prosecutors. Here, we want to discuss Miranda rights and what you can do if you believe your Miranda rights were violated.
The name “Miranda” comes from the historic 1966 US Supreme Court case called Miranda v. Arizona. This case declared that when a person is taken into custody by law enforcement, they must be told of their Fifth Amendment right not to make any self-incriminating statements before they are questioned.
This case gave rise to the rights that you have heard police recite to anyone they are arresting for allegedly committing a crime: the right to remain silent, the right to a criminal defense attorney, and the right to have an attorney provided for them if they cannot afford one.
If a police officer questions somebody in their custody without first giving them their Miranda warning, then any statement or confession made will be presumed to be involuntary. This means that the evidence cannot be used against the suspect in any criminal case they are a party to. Additionally, any evidence discovered as a result of statements or confessions taken without a proper Miranda warning will likely be thrown out of the case.
Suppose that Jacob is arrested for allegedly breaking into somebody’s house and stealing their jewelry. Jacob, unaware that he has the right to remain silent and not having been told his Miranda rights by police, confesses to committing the crime and tells the police where they can find the missing jewelry. Acting on this confession, police retrieve the jewelry.
Jacob’s attorney could challenge this confession in court because Jacob was never read his Miranda rights and gave his confession without knowing that he had a right to remain silent. There is a good chance that the confession will be thrown out of the case against Jacob. There is also a chance that the jewelry will not be able to be used as evidence because it was discovered as a result of Jacob’s unlawful confession.
This can all become incredibly confusing, and an attorney will need to conduct a thorough investigation into the police procedures concerning the case in order to determine whether or not a Miranda violation has occurred.
If you or somebody you love has been arrested and charged with a crime, but you believe that there was a violation of Miranda rights involved, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC, our qualified and experienced team is ready to investigate every aspect of your case. We will be sure to obtain any evidence from your arrest, including proof of whether or not Miranda rights were violated. When you need a California criminal defense attorney, you can contact us for a consultation on your case by clicking here or by calling as soon as possible.