What are "Miranda Rights?"
Most people have seen movies or T.V. shows talking about a person’s “Miranda Rights.” “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you free of charge.” These “rights” or warnings, basically explain your constitutional right not to answer questions asked by the police. If the police make a decision to question a suspect, the goal is to attempt to get the suspect to admit to something that can be used in a case against him or her at a later court appearance. You should not answer any questions or make any type of statement to the police without a lawyer there to protect you. The police officers will try to make the case against you greater and easier to prosecute, thus making any type of statement or admission will surely do you more harm than good. If you believe you have information that will be of benefit to your case, wait to tell it to your lawyer who can then decide how to best use the information.
The Miranda warnings need to be given if an officer is attempting to take a statement from a person in custody. However, in many situations, the police do not try and take statements from the arrested person. In these situations, the Miranda warnings most likely do not need to be given. You should be aware, however, that just because the Miranda warnings are not given does not necessarily mean the statement an arrested person gives cannot be used. Anything you voluntarily say in the presence of an officer, even if you are not being questioned, has the potential of being used against you. Police are allowed to use statements they overhear you make, whether it is on the phone or talking to another person, so you should be very careful about any type of statements made while in custody. If you have any questions as to whether or not any statement you made while in custody may be used against you, contact San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney today and schedule a free confidential consultation to discuss your case.