If a police officer fails to read your Miranda rights to you before interrogating or questioning you, your statements cannot be used against you. Even if I police officer does not inform you of your rights, you can still exercise your rights by stating your decision to remain silent or your wish to have a lawyer present.
Your Miranda rights include the following:
- Right to remain silent
- Your silence cannot be used against you in court
- Right to have lawyer present for questioning
- Right to have a lawyer appointed for you if you cannot afford one
- Right to stay silent before or during interrogation
Police officers are required to read your Miranda rights when you are in custody, being interrogated, or being questioned concerning a crime in order to ensure you are made aware. Failure to do so is not only violates your rights, but invalidates most, if not all, of the evidence obtained against you during that time.
Understanding How to Uphold Your Rights
If you have not been arrested nor have had your rights read to you, you can still invoke your right to remain silence. Police officers cannot arrest you for the sole purpose of your desire to remain silent or use it against you, so long as you say that you are invoking that right.
If you wish to remain silent, it is important that you verbally express that you are exercising your right to remain silent. If you simple stay silent when a police officer is questioning you, it may result in an officer using this as an admission of guilt against you in court. If you wish to not answer questions or would like a lawyer present, simply state such wishes.
If you have questions regarding your rights and police encounters, contact The Law Offices of Phillip T. Ridolfo, Jr. to speak with a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer.