Thanks to many crime shows and movies, many people in Hinesville believe they can avoid criminal convictions if the police do not read their Miranda rights during their arrests. The rights inform alleged offenders that their statements can become evidence against them, legal representation is available and they do not have to respond to interrogation during criminal investigations. These protections have been around for more than 50 years, but many people remain misinformed and confused if and when police Mirandize them.
You might not have criminal charges pending against you, but many people find themselves accidentally detained or charged for crimes they did not commit. Here are some things for you to keep in mind to help you better understand the importance of knowing your Miranda Rights.
Does not apply to every situation
There is a huge misconception that Miranda rights are required every time someone gets arrested. However, officers do not have to recite them at the time of arrest or every time. Miranda Rights only apply to situations where an offender is already in custody and getting ready for interrogation. This can be done at the time of arrest, during the ride in the squad car to the station or before formal questioning. In other words, Miranda Rights do not offer protection against arrest. They provide immunity against self-incrimination.
It is possible for arrests to occur without the offenders being read their Miranda Rights. If interrogation is not necessary (e.g., traffic stops, requests for name, birth date, and address and incriminating statements) the Miranda warning is not necessary. Waiving one’s Miranda Rights means a person agrees to interrogation without the protection of legal counsel. Invoking them implies that individual declines to answer questions without an attorney present.
Criminal legal matters are not black and white. Situations encompassing arrests and Miranda Rights can be quite complex. There are many shades of gray where some alleged offenders find it beneficial to assert their fifth amendment right at the start of interrogation only to rescind it in the middle of it and vice versa. It is not against the law for them to do so.