Understanding Miranda Rights

Almost anyone who has ever watched a television show or seen a movie thinks they are aware of the rights that law enforcement will read to them during an arrest.

Even small children can recite the phrase from memory: ” You have the right to remain silent.” Nevertheless, there is a lot of confusion that comes with the reading of your rights and when they should be applied.

Many individuals believe that if a police officer does not “read their rights” during an arrest they are therefore not accountable for punishment. This is not true. However, if police fail to read a suspect his or her Miranda rights, a prosecutor can therefore not use anything that a suspect says as evidence in a court of law.

One issue that comes up from time to time is whether a person was read their rights, and what that means for their case. The term “Miranda Rights” stands for the right to remain silent.

A common complaint from those accused is that police did not read them their “Miranda Rights” before they said something incriminating to police.

However, “Miranda Rights” only need to be read when you are in police custody, so if you either were casually speaking to police or you said something to police before they put you into custody, then the police did not have to read you your rights.

But if you were in custody, and police never read you your rights, then any statement you gave to police after you were read those rights cannot be used in court.

However, context matters, because if you start a conversation with an officer, and in it, you say something you shouldn’t, you could be waiving your Miranda Rights.

Whether a police officer read you your rights at the appropriate time is a question for the courts to decide, and is based on the particular facts of the case, such as where the statement took place and whether you were free to leave.

If you have a question regarding whether the Miranda standard was followed during your case, consult The Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyers at Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. today.