The, more commonly known as the “right to remain silent,” goes as follows:
You have the right to remain silent;
If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law;
You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have that lawyer present during any questioning;
If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.
The rule was named for Miranda v. Arizona, a case in which the defendant provided incriminating information to the prosecution because he was unaware of his right to remain silent. Since this landmark case occurred decades ago, law enforcement must inform people of their Miranda right when they are placed under arrest.
There are, however, four exceptions to the Miranda rule. They are:
Before the Arrest
The Miranda rule applies once the individual is taken into custody (arrested), not before. However, anything you say prior to your arrest can still be used against you. That being said, police are not supposed to begin interrogations until you have been taken into custody. So, unless you are just nervously spouting off unsolicited information, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. At this stage, the only information you are required to provide is of the identifying sort, such as your name, address and date of birth. If police ask you for additional information without first reading you the Miranda warning, they could be in violation of your constitutional rights. Acan help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with any type of crime.
Not everyone involved in an arrest is subject to the Miranda rule. It applies to government and “state agents,” such as prosecutors and police officers, but what about private citizens, undercover agents and jailhouse informants? According to a Supreme Court ruling, even if these individuals are paid by the government to perform a duty, they are not subject to the Miranda rule.
If imminent danger to the public prevents an officer(s) from reading the Miranda rights before custodial interrogation, a statement obtained during the course of that interrogation may, under certain circumstances, still be used against the defendant. Such a situation occurred during the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing, when the suspect was interrogated before receiving his Miranda rights. When a suspected terrorist attack or other imminent threat creates a sense of urgency, responses obtained without Miranda rights may, in comes cases, still be admissible in court.
Waiving Your Rights
In addition to the above situations, you can also waive your Miranda rights. Not surprisingly, this is not a recommended tactic, especially without first having consulted with your attorney. A Continue readingcan help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with any type of crime.