What Are Miranda Rights?

If you are arrested for any criminal offense, it is critical to understand your Miranda rights. Since Miranda rights are often centered in television shows, films, and other aspects of popular culture, it can be difficult to understand with clarity what rights you actually have and what those rights afford you after an arrest. Some people who are arrested assume that they can immediately have all charges dropped if they are not read a Miranda warning, while other people might not even know what a Miranda warning entails or what constitutional rights they have after an arrest. As experienced Rochester criminal defense attorneys, we want to provide you with the basic information you need about Miranda rights and to encourage you to seek representation from a criminal defense lawyer if you have been arrested for an offense in New York.

You Must Be Read a Miranda Warning After You Are Arrested

When someone refers to Miranda rights, they are referencing your right to be read the Miranda warning when you are arrested. The Miranda warning must inform you of these rights upon arrest:

  • Right to remain silent
  • Knowledge that anything you say can be used against you in court
  • Right to an attorney
  • Knowledge that an attorney will be appointed for you if you cannot afford one

Miranda Warning Comes from a U.S. Supreme Court Case

The Miranda warning comes out of the U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona (1966).

You Have Miranda Rights In a Custodial Interrogation Even If You Are Not Told You Have Been Arrested

You have Miranda rights when you are officially arrested, but it is important to know that you also have Miranda rights when you are placed in a custodial interrogation. What does that mean? Even if the police do not say they are arresting you and do not handcuff you, if you are prevented from leaving a place by law enforcement—if you are not free to go—then you may be in a custodial interrogation situation. Accordingly, the police must read the Miranda warning, and your rights under Miranda apply.

Consequences for Your Defense If You Are Not Read the Miranda Warning

If you are arrested—whether you are told you are under arrest and handcuffed or simply placed in a custodial interrogation—a failure to read the Miranda warning to you does not mean that you can automatically have the charges against you dropped. To be sure, lack of a Miranda warning is not a defense to the charges you are facing based on evidence gathered by law enforcement prior to your arrest. Rather, without a Miranda warning, any statements you made after your arrest can be inadmissible. In other words, anything you said after your arrest cannot be used in making the case against you.

You Can Waive Miranda Rights

You should always seek advice from a lawyer before you make any statement to a law enforcement officer, and you should certainly seek advice from a criminal defense lawyer before you waive your Miranda rights. However, you should know that a person can waive their Miranda rights, which can result in your words being used against you by the prosecutor.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Rochester

If you are facing criminal charges after an arrest and need assistance preparing your defense, an experienced Rochester criminal defense attorney can begin working with you on your case today. Contact King Law to learn more about how we can help.


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