Understand & Invoke Your Miranda Rights
Guidance from an El Dorado County Criminal Defense Lawyer
When a person is arrested by a law enforcement officer and is asked questions about a crime, that person has constitutional rights against self-incrimination and rights to legal counsel.
These well-known Miranda rights are commonly communicated through the following advisement:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to be advised by an attorney before answering any questions.
- If you desire an attorney and cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you free of charge.
While there are certain situations in which Miranda rights do not apply, police and other law enforcement must obey the law. When Miranda rights are violated, statements a person makes can be kept out of court and sometimes a case can be dismissed as a result.
Were Your Legal Rights Violated?
If your Miranda rights were violated, I can advise you regarding what course to take next, and I can defend you against whatever charges you are facing. I am El Dorado County criminal defense lawyer Rachel D. Miller, and I have more than a decade of experience with the criminal justice system in Placerville and the surrounding area.
Here are answers to several frequently asked questions regarding Miranda rights:
- Nobody read me my Miranda rights. Isn't that illegal? Not necessarily. An officer only has to advise you of your rights if two conditions occur: 1) You are in custody, or a reasonable person in your position would feel that he or she was not free to leave; and 2) The officers are asking questions about their investigation. If both of these conditions are not met, the officer is under no obligation to advise you of your rights.
- I was arrested. What should I do now? Do not talk to ANYONE about your case or about what happened. The ONLY person you should talk to about your case is your attorney. If you talk to anybody else about your case, that person could be subpoenaed to court to tell a jury what you said.
- If an officer advises me of my Miranda rights, what should I do? Use the rights that you have just been advised. You MUST tell them "I want an attorney!" and "I want to remain silent!" Call your attorney right away. The officers MUST stop questioning you at that point. If they continue questioning you, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING.
- If I tell the police that I will talk off the record and they turn off the tape recorder, does that mean what I tell them cannot be used against me? No. Any statement you make to the police WILL be used against you regardless of whether it is "off the record" or unrecorded.
- Do the officers always make an accurate report of what I tell them? No. They are human too and subject to making mistakes or assumptions. If you feel compelled to talk to an officer, make sure that he or she tape-records the ENTIRE conversation. If they are talking to you as a suspect, talk to your attorney first.
- Some of the other inmates are telling me what I should do on my case or they are telling me something different than my attorney. Should I listen to them? No. If they were so smart, they would not be in jail. They are not trained attorneys, nor should they know the facts of your case. (You should NEVER talk to other inmates about the facts of your case.) Your attorney knows your case and has been trained in the law. Your attorney has access to research books and in most cases knows how to deal with the prosecutor handling your case. Your best bet is to work with your attorney.
Every case is different. Seek legal advice regarding your legal matter.
If You Have Been Arrested, Contact Me For A Free Initial Consultation
Searching for an El Dorado County criminal defense lawyer who can help you fight against police misconduct or law enforcement negligence? Call me, attorney Rachel D. Miller, at (530) 491-4630 for a free consultation about your case. You can also email me, and I will respond promptly.