Your Miranda Rights

After you are arrested, the police must advise you of your Miranda rights before they can question you. But in a mere “stop and frisk” situation, the police do not have to advise you of your Miranda rights before questioning.

If you have been arrested for a crime in Sacramento county, contact criminal attorney Richard A. Chan Jr. for free criminal defense case consultation. If the police are conducting a routine investigation and asking a number of people what they know about the crime, each person need not be advised of his or her Miranda rights before questioning.

What are the Miranda rights? In the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an incriminating statement obtained during a “custodial interrogation”-one in which you are not free to leave anytime you want-is not admissible in court unless, before the police begin to question you, they advise you of certain fundamental rights: that you have the right to have an attorney present during questioning; and that if you want to have an attorney present but you cannot afford one, one can be provided for you without cost.

After the police read you your Miranda rights, they will ask whether you understand these rights. If you reply that you do, you will be asked whether, having your rights in mind, you wish to talk to the police at that time, without the presence of a lawyer. If you agree to talk to the police, you have waived your Miranda rights, and any confession or incriminating statements you make can be used against you in court. To ensure that there is no dispute about whether the police have read you your Miranda rights, some police departments will have you sign a card that contains the Miranda rights and states that they were read to you and that you understand them.

Contrary to what you are accustomed to seeing on television, the police do not have to read you your Miranda rights the moment they arrest you. They only have to inform you of your rights before they question you. Often the arresting officers will not ask a suspect any questions and will leave that task to the detectives back at the station. Since the arresting officers aren’t asking you any questions (“interrogating” you), they don’t need to advise you of your Miranda rights. Suppose the arresting officers don’t read you your rights and don’t ask you any questions, but on the way back to the station you blur out that you are sorry you committed the crime. In this instance, the remark can be used against you at trial; the police weren’t questioning you, so they didn’t have to inform you of your rights.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, contact criminal defense lawyer Richard A. Chan Jr. for free consultation about your criminal or DUI defense case now. Call (916) 446-4400.