Minnesotans who have watched any crime show or film will likely think they know about Miranda rights. The opening line, “You have the right to remain silent,” should be familiar to everyone. It is important to understand the requirement for law enforcement to read one’s Miranda rights and how not doing so can impact an entire criminal case.
The legal ramifications of not being read Miranda rights
Miranda rights are part of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If a person speaks to law enforcement after being read the Miranda rights, anything they say can be used against them in court. The person has the right to have an attorney and if they cannot afford one, an attorney will be appointed to provide representation.
An officer’s failure to read the Miranda rights prior to questioning could render inadmissible any confession or statement the suspect makes even if it is an open admission to the crime. The key point to remember is that there is no rule that the person must be read the Miranda rights when he or she is being detained or was arrested. The arrest combined with questioning makes the Miranda rights necessary for any statement to be considered evidence in court.
How a failure to read Miranda rights can impact a case
People who have not been read their Miranda rights prior to an interrogation but confessed to wrongdoing could have the charges dropped. Despite people thinking they fully understand Miranda rights due to their relative familiarity with it from popular culture, there is a nuance that may not be completely clear. A fundamental part of criminal law and a viable defense is having legal assistance. This is the priority after being arrested and should be known from the start.