Law enforcement officers here in North Carolina and elsewhere in the United States are required by law to give you a Miranda warning when placing you under arrest. Police must do this so that you’re reminded that your actions can send a message about whether or not you’re guilty of a crime. If a law enforcement officer fails to tell you about these rights, then any evidence that is discovered after that may be thrown out by a judge.
Individuals are afforded several rights under the Miranda warning. Defendants are instructed that they have a right to remain silent. They’re told that that anything that they say can and will be used against them in a court of law. Part of the Miranda warning is that defendants are supposed to be instructed about their right to an attorney and that they will be appointed one if they can’t afford one on their own.
You’re under no obligation to engage in any conversation with police once they’ve read you these rights. Any confession or other statements that you give before being advised of your Miranda rights cannot be used against you in a criminal case. Any evidence found as a result of those comments that you make may also be thrown out in such an instance.
The primary reason that police are required to provide you with a Miranda warning before questioning you is to protect your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. When ruling on the Miranda v. Arizona case in 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court pointed out that the suspect’s interrogation became coercive since he wasn’t informed about his right to an attorney. The court argued that Miranda would have been less forthcoming in discussions with police had he been advised of his rights.
Police question countless suspects for various crimes here in Statesville every day. While a large majority of them probably have their Miranda rights read to them, there is a small handful that isn’t advised of such warnings. If you’ve been charged with a crime after such an occurrence, then an attorney can help. Let a lawyer who has a dedicated criminal defense practice handle your case.