Important Facts about Your Miranda Rights
We’ve heard “you have the right to remain silent” in just about every criminal series on TV. This right is the result of the Miranda v. Arizona case from 1966. It was then that the Supreme Court ruled out that information obtained by investigators while a suspect is in custody could be admissible to court only after the suspect was informed of their rights. Know the facts about your Miranda rights.
Ever since, the Miranda Rights are presented in the following order:
- You have the right to remain silent
- Anything that you say may be used against you in a court of law
- You have the right to speak with an attorney before being interrogated by the police
- Anyone who can’t afford to hire an attorney will be appointed one
- A suspect who decides to answer police questions without an attorney has the right to stop the questioning at any time
- The final element is a question pertaining to the willingness of the suspect to answer police officer questions after they’ve been acquainted with their Miranda Rights
While these are the essentials, there are a few other important facts about your Miranda Rights that many people are unfamiliar with. The following article will aim to shed some light on these facts.
There’s a Miranda Right Exception
A public safety concern could lead to a Miranda Rights exception.
This exception is the result of the New York v. Quarles case from 1984. Based on it, police officers have the right to immediately ask questions when they have a legitimate concern about public safety.
In the instance, the court ruled out that the need to protect the public against an immediate danger outweighs the protection of a person’s Fifth Amendment rights. Ever since the 1980s, this exception has been utilized a number of times whenever legitimate concerns about terrorism have been brought up.
Traffic Stops and the Miranda Rights
When a traffic stop occurs after a minor violation, the Miranda Rights do not apply.
Usually, police officers will question a driver who has committed some violation on the road. The Miranda Rights, however, will not be read prior to the questioning.
Court has ruled out that reading the Miranda Rights only applies to suspects who are being held in custody. Thus, police officers have the right to interrogate drivers and passengers without giving them preliminary information about their rights.
A Miranda Rights Violation doesn’t Dismiss a Criminal Case
Some people may assume that a failure to acquaint a suspect with their Miranda Rights may lead to the immediate dismissal of the case against them. This isn’t true.
Usually, when the Miranda Rights are not being presented, a suspect may demand the dismissal of their statements as evidence. Even in the case of Miranda v. Arizona, Ernesto Miranda did not walk out a free man.
The confession by Ernesto Miranda was discarded as evidence due to the fact that he wasn’t acquainted with his constitutional rights. At re-trial, however, the prosecution relied on new witnesses to build a solid case against the defendant. Eventually, Ernesto Miranda was convicted for the original rape charges brought against him.
Undercover Officers and Facts about Your Miranda Rights
It’s interesting to take a look at how the Miranda Rights apply to undercover police operations and the information collected during those.
In the 1990 case of Illinois v. Perkins, it was established that police officers who do undercover work are entitled to some protection. The case involved a police officer who was doing an undercover mission in jail. While communicating with the undercover “inmate,” Lloyd Perkins spoke about an escape plan that involved killing prison guards. He also confessed to a murder committed in 1984.
Perkins was convicted but the attorneys attempted to cause the dismissal of his testimony on the basis of the fact that he wasn’t acquainted with his Miranda Rights. The Supreme Court ruled out there was a distinction between police deception and coercion. A standard interrogation wasn’t being carried out, which means that the suspect doesn’t have to be mirandized prior to questioning.