Your Miranda rights, you’ve heard them read on television a million times and probably know them by heart, but do you know when you must be given these rights?  Do you know when you have them?

Just for some background, the Miranda Rights were spawned from a 1966 Supreme Court Decision involving a defendant named Miranda. From that case, the court came up with a rule that people had to be read certain rights during the arrest process including the rights to remain silent, consult a lawyer, and have an attorney appointed to you. If you are not read these rights when you should be, the things you tell an officer may not be used against you.

Regardless whether you are guilty of the crime the police arrested you for it is always a good idea to remain calm and collected. Additionally, as soon as it is appropriate you should tell the police that you wish to speak to a lawyer. Bear in mind the police will be analyzing you the entire time during the arrest including your physical appearance and body language cues.

It is helpful to understand your Miranda Rights before you have any contact with the police. Miranda affords you protection under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. If you are in custody and the police want to interrogate or question you, they first have to read your Miranda rights to you.

Being read your Miranda rights, or right to remain silent, is implicated at the time you are “under arrest.” There often is much confusion as to what “under arrest” means. You are under arrest at the time you are in custody and a reasonable person would not feel free to leave. At the point you are under arrest, the officer must read you your Miranda rights, or right to remain silent, before questioning you. The failure of an officer to read you your Miranda rights might be a violation of the Constitution.

Bottom line:   The important thing to remember here is, whether an officer reads you your Miranda rights, or whether you’re even under arrest at all, very little good usually comes from talking to the police. It is best to remember, you have a right not to talk to the police and not to implicate yourself in a crime.  The best advice: no good comes from talking to the police and the best response is, “I want to speak with my lawyer.” Put my mobile phone number into your phone:   (513) 260-2099. Hopefully you will never have to make that call. But, if the need arises, I can help you.

Scott A. Rubenstein, Cincinnati Attorney at Law