What happens if I don’t get read my rights?

  • Introduction

    The United States Supreme Court, in Miranda v. Arizona, held, “We have concluded that without proper safeguards, the process of in-custody interrogation of persons suspected or accused of crime contains inherently compelling pressures which work to undermine the individual’s will to resist and to compel him to speak where he would not otherwise do so freely. In order to combat these pressures and to permit a full opportunity to exercise the privilege against self-incrimination, the accused must be adequately and effectively apprised of his rights, and the exercise of those rights must be fully honored.”

    The Miranda warnings, also known as Miranda rights, are rights that you are required to be advised of when 1) taken into custody and 2) are being interrogated by law enforcement officers. These rights are born from the Fifth Amendment guarantee against compelled self-incrimination and spelled out by the Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).

    1. When are my rights Required to be read to me?

    Short answer: when you are in custody before you are interrogated by police.

    Answer: To protect your constitutional right against self-incrimination, law enforcement officers are required to inform you of your rights to remain silent and to have counsel present at any custodial interrogation.

    “Custody” for purposes of Miranda encompasses not only formal arrest but any restraint on freedom of movement of the degree associated with formal arrest. Arbeleaz v. State, 626 So. 2d 169 (Fla. 1993). The analysis is objective: how would a reasonable person perceive the situation? Said another way, a person is in custody if a reasonable person in the same position would believe that he or she was not free to leave.

    “Interrogation” for purposes of Miranda refers to questioning and any words or actions on the part of the police that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response. Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291 (1980).

    1. Which rights are required to be read to me?

    Short answer: your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.

    The Miranda warnings include the following rights:

    1) The right to remain silent, 2) The right to have an attorney present.

    Once you have invoked your right to counsel, police questioning must stop immediately. However, you must clearly assert your right. You must state unequivocally that you want an attorney present.

    Everyone has the right to remain silent, very few have the ability. You are much better off requesting an attorney.

    1. What happens if my rights are not read to me?

    Short answer: your statements cannot be used against you.

    Answer: Any statements that are produced as a result of a Miranda violation must be suppressed.Black v. State, 59 So. 3d 340, 345 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2011)

    If law enforcement officers fail to provide the Miranda warnings or continue to interrogate after you have invoked your right to an attorney any statements obtained during that interrogation may be inadmissible as evidence in court. This exclusionary rule is designed to be a deterrent to law enforcement practices that violate your rights.


    Exercise your rights! Remain silent (STFU), or better yet forever and always ask for an attorney.


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