What are Miranda Rights?

8What are Miranda Rights?

If you watch crime shows or police reality shows on television, you are probably familiar with law enforcement reading Miranda rights to people before an arrest. The law provides for people to have rights that they can utilize when they encounter members of law enforcement. The law requires police to ensure you understand your constitutional rights by reading them to you at the time of your arrest. If you were arrested, you should speak to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.


Establishing Miranda Rights

The Constitution of the United States and its amendments provide for all citizens to have inherent rights. If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent. If you choose to speak to law enforcement, they could use the information against you. While rights are inherent, a famous case brought the issue to the forefront. In 1966, a defendant named Miranda appealed the matter to the Supreme Court. In a landmark case, the Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement must read people their rights if arrested, since not everyone may understand that they have these rights already. Thus, the term “Miranda warning” has come to be synonymous with reading a person their constitutional rights upon arrest.


Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I be arrested without evidence against me?”


What are Miranda Warnings?

Law enforcement officers must read Miranda warnings specifically as they are written. The warning includes the following statements:


  • 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 have an attorney present during questioning
  • If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you


The officer will then ask whether you understand your rights as read to you. Following Miranda warnings, the police will generally ask you whether you wish to speak to them about the incident. It is at this point that you may elect to invoke your rights. If you invoke your rights, the police cannot continue questioning. If you do make a statement or answer questions after Miranda warnings were provided, the statements can be used later.


What if the Police Did Not Give Miranda Warnings?

An exclusionary rule applies to statements that were made without having been Mirandized. If a defendant speaks to law enforcement without first having been read their rights, their statements might be excluded from a trial. Your attorney will review the details of any statements made. If Miranda warnings were not properly given, your lawyer will request that the statements are kept out of the trial. Therefore, any such statements will be eliminated from evidence if they were gathered unlawfully. However, remember that even if your statements are excluded from evidence, there could still be other evidence, and the case could proceed.


Reading of Miranda warnings is standard procedure for all police and law enforcement operations. The failure to provide you with your rights could impact your case. If you were arrested or charged with a crime, it is helpful to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Contact our criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for an initial consultation to discuss your case.






The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.




Miranda Warning | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)

The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription | National Archives


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