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What is a Miranda rights violation?

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Police officers have the right to question anyone they believe is suspected of a crime. However, if the person is in police custody, the officer must read them their Miranda rights prior to beginning the interrogation process. The police must tell you of the following:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say may be held against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to an attorney.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.

Many people assume that Miranda rights must be read only after you are arrested. However, an arrest is not necessary. If you are being held by police, and are not free to walk away, you are in ‘police custody,’ even if you have not been arrested.

Common Miranda rights violations

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you from self-incrimination. A Miranda rights violation constitutes a violation of your Fifth Amendment rights. An officer can violate your rights by:

  • Failing to read you your Miranda rights while you were in police custody and before starting the interrogation.
  • Refusing to allow you to have an attorney present during the interrogation or continuing to question you without an attorney present once you have requested one.
  • Continuing to question you even though you have invoked your Miranda rights.
  • Using forceful tactics or coercion to get you to confess or otherwise incriminate yourself.

If you are being questioned by police, whether you have been arrested or not, you should identify yourself when asked but avoid answering any further questions. Instead, you should state that you are invoking your right to remain silent and request an attorney. However, if an officer has violated your Miranda rights, statements you made while in police custody are generally not admissible in the case against you.

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