We have all seen movies and television shows where a person is read their Miranda rights when being arrested, starting with the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent.” However, it is important to understand what these rights are and what they mean if you are facing arrest.
What must be included when police read your Miranda rights?
When police in Missouri and across the U.S. are placing you under arrest and want to question you, they must inform you of your Miranda rights. These rights include:
- Your right not to say anything
- That if you do say something, it may be used against you in court
- You have the right to speak to an attorney
- If you cannot afford to pay for your own attorney, you have a right to a public defender
Ultimately, this means that you do not have to speak to an arresting officer if they start questioning you and you can request to speak to an attorney.
When can you exercise your Miranda rights?
Any time you are facing custodial interrogation, you must be read your Miranda rights. Does this include any arrest? No. You must be in police custody and you must be being questioned by police. If you are being arrested but not questioned by officers, they do not need to read you your Miranda rights.
However, once police start interrogating you, they must read you your Miranda rights. If they do not do so, anything you might say during the questioning may not be used as evidence in a subsequent case against you.
Learn more about your Miranda rights
Your Miranda rights are an important part of your right against self-incrimination. This post does not contain legal advice, so if you want to learn more about your Miranda rights you may want to speak to an attorney.