People who have been arrested in Louisiana will have a lot to think about. Undoubtedly, most will be aware of the basic concept of being read their Miranda rights. This is a common part of entertainment programs with the familiar opening refrain of “You have the right to remain silent.” That familiarity, however, does not imply a full understanding. This can be critical to a legal defense.
Knowing the facts about Miranda rights
When a person is arrested, it is imperative to have a grasp of the details about being read Miranda rights. The failure to read these rights accurately or any other issue related to them could be vital to the defense. The Miranda warning says that the arrested person has the right to remain silent; anything he or she says can be used in court; the person can have legal representation; if the person cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed; the person can say they do not want to speak during an interrogation, ending it right there; and once invoking the right to an attorney, interrogation must cease until the attorney is there.
However, the Miranda warning does not always need to be read. The following factors must be in place for the warning to be needed: the person must have been taken into custody by police and an interrogation must be underway. If these two prerequisites are not met, then no Miranda warning is needed. Being in police custody means that the person’s freedom to act independently has been taken away. Interrogations generally begin when law enforcement starts asking questions about a crime.
A legal defense should include assessing the Miranda warning
If there are any violations or missteps related to reading a person their Miranda rights, it could be a fundamental aspect of an effective criminal defense. Law enforcement might try various forms of trickery, intimidation or outright wrongdoing to try and secure a conviction. Exploring all avenues of a legal defense is imperative and experienced, professional advice can be helpful.