If you have been arrested on criminal charges, you may be subjected to interrogation while in police custody. However, because of Fifth Amendment protections from self-incrimination, police are required to read you your Miranda rights before beginning the interrogation process. Failure to read you your rights could be a violation of your Constitutional rights and could result in the suppression of any statements you make.
What are your Miranda rights?
Following the 1966 Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona, police officers have been required to read a criminal suspect their Miranda rights. Officers will generally say:
- 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 appointed for you.
Keep in mind that any Miranda rights need not be read prior to the arrest. Therefore, if an officer asks questions before arresting the suspect, your answers may be used as evidence later, as they will be seen as voluntary.
Invoking your Miranda rights
Once an officer has read you your Miranda rights, you can exercise your rights by clearly stating that you are invoking your right to remain silent or requesting to speak to a lawyer. Once you have expressed that you are invoking your Miranda rights, the officer must stop questioning you and provide you with an attorney.
Suspects can waive their Miranda rights expressly or implicitly by:
- Saying “yes”: After reading you your Miranda rights, the officer will ask if you still wish to speak to them. If you agree to talk or sign a written statement agreeing to a waive of rights, you have expressly waived their Miranda rights.
- Acting in a way to show waiver: If you do not expressly waive their rights, but willingly start talking about the alleged crime, that behavior could be seen as an implicit waiver of your Miranda rights.
If you think your Miranda rights may have been violated by a Florida police officer, it can be beneficial to speak to a criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can review your case and help suppress incriminating statements you may have made while in police custody.