On TV shows and movies, people are generally read their Miranda rights while handcuffed. This has led people to think that this is the moment in which the rights have to be read. However, that is not true. Law enforcement should read your Miranda Rights before the police question you formally; this can happen while you are in the interrogation room when you are arrested or anytime in between. 

Why do police have to read your rights? The story of the Miranda Rights

Ernesto Miranda was detained in 1963 on charges of rape and kidnapping. He was asked to stand in a lineup, and after that, police personnel suggested (to him) that the victim had successfully positively recognized him. Ernesto admitted to kidnapping and raping the victim and positively identified her to the police, not knowing that he had the legal right to an attorney or to keep silent.

Miranda was then told to write down his confession and sign a document stating that he had done so voluntarily and in “full knowledge of his legal rights.” He received a sentence of 20 to 30 years. 

The validity of his confession was called into doubt in the seminal Miranda v. Arizona case of 1965, which established the requirement that suspects be informed of their rights before being interrogated about their alleged crimes. Because of this, officers will read your Miranda rights before, during, or after arrests. For the record, Miranda was convicted after being tried a second time without making his confession.

Does your arrest not count if an officer didn’t read your Miranda rights?

Your Miranda rights only apply if the police wish to question you; they have nothing to do with whether or not they can make an arrest. As a measure to stop people from unintentionally confessing to crimes, the Constitution’s writers sought to protect citizens from saying anything that could implicate them in a crime. The Miranda warnings serve as a reminder of this.

We have assisted our clients in having their cases or charges dropped, but none of them were done so because their Miranda rights weren’t read to them when they were being arrested. However, your words cannot be used as evidence if you were not informed of your rights before being questioned. Therefore, even though it might not lead to your dismissal, it lessens the amount of evidence that can be utilized to convict you, which matters in a criminal case.

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