As a United States citizen, you have rights not only during an arrest but also during a police interrogation. You are supposed to be read your rights, but the times where you think police officers are required to read you those rights may not be what the law considers “necessary.” Therefore, it is important that you understand how these fundamental rights work, and what to do if you are refused your Constitutional right.
Do Police Officers Have to Inform You of Your Rights During an Arrest?
Technically, no. However, most law enforcement officials make it a policy to do so during the arrest. However, police officers only need to inform you of your rights when questioning you and inform you that anything you say can be used against you – known as your Miranda rights.
If you are under arrest and being interrogated, officers must read you your rights.
The Fundamentals of Miranda Rights
- You have the right to stay silent – therefore, you do not have to answer their questions.
- If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in court.
- You have the right to an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, the state will give you an attorney at no cost to you.
- When you talk to the police, you can stop answering questions at any time.
Does a Judge Dismiss a Case Automatically if You are Not Given Your Miranda Warning?
Just because law enforcement fails to give you your rights during an arrest does not automatically mean the case will be dismissed. However, the responses during the interrogation cannot be used. If prosecution still has plenty of evidence against you, then the case will move forward.
How Do You Invoke the Right to Remain Silent with Law Enforcement?
If you are officially under arrest and being questioned by police officers, you have the right to stay silent, but you must invoke that right. Make it clear to the officers that you do not wish to answer their questions and you invoke your right, such as saying “I claim my Miranda rights,” or “I refuse to speak to you.”
After you invoke your right, police may try to continue questioning. In this case, they have violated your Miranda rights.
Do I Have to be in Police Custody for My Miranda Warning to Apply?
When you are not in police custody and being questioned by law enforcement, the officers do not need to read you your rights. Officers use this technique often, telling you that you are free to go and not under arrest. Then, once they receive an incriminating statement from you, they can arrest you and use what you said against you.
Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney about Your Rights
If you were arrested and questioned without your rights being read to you, you may have a workable defense against anything you said during that interrogation. However, citing Miranda warning failures as a defense strategy is very complex – and does not always succeed.
Instead, call a criminal defense attorney for help.
If you have been arrested, invoke your right to counsel and to remain silent. Even if you are not under arrest, you have the right to refuse to answer a police officer’s question until you have an attorney present. Therefore, exercise these rights.