The 5th Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination protects people from being a witness against himself or herself. All statements made during custodial interrogations of a government agent or law enforcement cannot be used against the person without Miranda warnings.

Miranda rights of a person must be invoked immediately upon an arrest or once in custody. The Miranda warnings are:

  • You have the remain silent
  • If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law
  • You have a right to an attorney and you have a right to have the attorney present during questioning
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you

When Are My Miranda Rights Required?

Miranda warnings are required once the person is in custody and under interrogations by law enforcement.

  1. Custody: A person is in custody once the person is deprived of his or her freedom of action in any significant way and cannot leave upon his free will. This can occur in a jail, at the scene of a crime, in a public place, etc. Once in custody, police must give the person Miranda warnings before any questioning. Being pulled over or a brief questioning by police during a stop would not be considered being in custody and police are not required to give Miranda warnings.
  2. Interrogations: Interrogations is any police questioning that the police know or should know would require a incriminating response. Any interrogations of police of a person in custody requires Miranda warnings or any statements made would be inadmissible, unless voluntary waiver.
  3. Waiver: A person can waive his Miranda Rights and his or her right to have a attorney present during custodial interrogations. The waiver must be made knowingly and voluntarily without any police coercion or influence.

Can I Be Arrested without Being Read My Miranda Rights?

Yes. Miranda rights only protect against incriminating oneself during custodial interrogation. All the police need to arrest someone is probable cause. The police are only required to read the Miranda rights when interrogating a suspect in police custody. The police are aware of when Miranda rights need to be read and many times will question a person without placing that person under arrest.

Will My Case Be Dismissed if the Police Do Not Read Me My Miranda Rights?

No. The police must advise a suspect of his Miranda rights only before beginning a custodial interrogation.

Routine Questioning:  Routine questions to establish identity such as name, address, and social security number will not require a Miranda warning. Statements made before arrest and voluntary statements made after being arrested do not violate the Miranda rights as long as the police do not deliberately extract those statements.

Traffic Stops: Miranda warnings are not required during a traffic stop and a person cannot invoke his right to remain silent. Answers to police questions are required when drivers are stopped for traffic violations because of road safety. Refusal to supply information would cause driver to receive a more serious offense.

What Happens If I Invoke My Miranda Rights?

Police interrogation is to stop immediately upon exercising the right to remain silent or by requesting an attorney. The police may not return to question a person if he requests an attorney. However, the police use many techniques to get suspects to change their minds about remaining silent.

Do You Need a Lawyer Experienced with Miranda Rights?

If you have been questioned by the police you should speak with a criminal defense lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses, and the complicated legal system. An experienced attorney can help identify exactly what statements should be excluded from court and determine whether you have the ability to sue the police.