Austin Office | Midland Office | Georgetown Office

Free Consultationsphone512-474-2222

Contact Our Firm

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.
Name *
Email *
State
ZIP
Phone *
How would you prefer to be contacted?
E-Mail
Phone
No Preference
Briefly describe your legal issue. *

DisclaimerThe use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

I have read and understand the Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.

Contact Us
Hablamos Español

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Austin Criminal Defense LawyerMost of us are familiar with the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent. . .” especially if you are a fan of police TV shows. That is the first sentence of the Miranda Warning. This is the warning that law enforcement is required to give a suspect before interrogating them. What many suspects do not realize is that anything they say to police prior to being Mirandized can and likely will be used against them.

What Is the Miranda Warning?

Miranda rights or warning is a combination of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The Fifth Amendment protects a person from self-incrimination. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right of every defendant to an attorney. When a person is read the Miranda Warning by a police officer, they are told:

  • They have the right to remain silent

  • If they give up that right then anything they say may be used against them

  • They have the right to an attorney

  • If they cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for them

The Miranda Warning and the requirement it be read to every suspect before a police interrogation comes from the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona. The case involved Ernesto Arturo Miranda, who was arrested in 1963 by the Phoenix, AZ police on rape charges. That arrest was based on circumstantial evidence. When Miranda was brought to the police station for questioning, they put him in a lineup. They then led the suspect to believe he had been positively identified. After two hours of interrogation, where police failed to inform him of his constitutional rights or that he was entitled to an attorney, Miranda confessed to the crime and was later convicted.

Three years later, the United States Supreme Court threw out that conviction, writing in their decision that police must warn suspects about their right to remain silent and not incriminate themselves and the right to have an attorney present before interrogations begin.

Police Interrogation

Part of the problem with the public’s perception with Miranda – thanks to television and movies – is that people believe they are protected from self-incrimination any time a police officer questions you if that officer has not read you the Miranda warning. That perception, however, is incorrect.

Police are only required to Mirandize a suspect if they have taken that suspect into custody with the intention of conducting an interrogation. Miranda is not required to be given to a suspect during their arrest if police will not be conducting an interrogation. If police change their mind, they can always give Miranda to the suspect later. Unfortunately, this often-intentional lapse by police has resulted in many suspects incriminating themselves.

Contact an Austin Defense Attorney

If you are a suspect or are being investigated in a crime, do not speak with police until you have consulted with an Austin criminal defense lawyer. It is imperative to your defense that you do not give police any statements without an attorney present. Call Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC. at 512-474-2222 to schedule a free consultation and find out what legal options you may have regarding the charges being brought against you.

 

Source:

https://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/facts-and-case-summary-miranda-v-arizona

Back to Top