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Understanding When An Officer Must Read You Your Rights

Posted Thursday, October 26, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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The “Miranda Warning” or the “Miranda Rights” must be given by law enforcement officers to criminal suspects who are in police custody, in a custodial interrogation, or upon arrest if the officers are going to interrogate the suspect. The Miranda Rights must be read before the police may interrogate a suspect. Law enforcement may only ask for specific information such as a suspect’s name, date of birth, or address without having to read the suspect their rights. If the Miranda Rights are not given, not properly given, or are otherwise violated, then any confession or other incriminating statements made by the suspect generally cannot be used against them in criminal proceedings.

The Miranda Warning mandate was born of the United States Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona to protect a criminal suspect’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during police interrogation. (384 U.S. 436 (1966)). The specific wording of the Miranda Warning varies from state to state. The wording used is typically similar to this:

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 an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?

Whether or not law enforcement must inform you of your rights hinges on whether or not they are going to interrogate you. If officers do not plan to interrogate you, there is no duty for them to Mirandize you.

You have the right to remain silent regardless of whether or not your rights are read to you. Your constitutional rights always exist. At anytime you are being questioned by law enforcement regarding a crime, you have the right against self-incrimination and to remain silent. It is your Fifth Amendment right.

If you are being questioned by law enforcement regarding a crime, it is usually in your best interest to remain silent. You do not have to answer questions posed to you by law enforcement. Be polite but firm in your desire to remain silent. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning – exercise this right.

Remain silent until your criminal defense attorney is by your side.

If you are facing criminal charges we urge you to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. The attorneys of Padula & Associates, LLC are experienced in all aspects of criminal defense, and they will help you take on criminal allegations with confidence. We will be your fierce advocates, and we will mount an aggressive defense in your case and help you fight for a just resolution.

We are available 24/7. Consultations are free. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366, email us at, or fill out our online free consultation form today.

We proudly serve the folks in King County, Snohomish County, and Washington State with aggressive and effective criminal defense.