In 1966, the United States Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona ushered in a period of court-imposed restraints on the government's ability to interrogate suspects it takes into custody. This famous decision focused on Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination, but it also spoke to the right to counsel.
One of the most important restraints enumerated in the Miranda decision is the prohibition against the government's interrogation of suspects or witnesses after the suspect has invoked the right to counsel. Read on to learn more about this important right.
Miranda Warnings: What's Covered?
Here's what the Miranda warnings generally say:
The Court further instructed the police that if a suspect says he wants a lawyer, the police must cease any interrogation or questioning until an attorney is present. Further, the police must give the suspect an opportunity to confer with his attorney and to have the attorney present during any subsequent questioning.
Probable Cause and Police Questioning
Individuals need to remember that they can be arrested without being advised of their Miranda Rights. The Miranda rights do not protect individuals from being arrested, but they help suspects keep from unwittingly incriminating themselves during police questioning.
All the police need to arrest a person is probable cause to believe a suspect has committed a crime. Probable cause is merely an adequate reason based on the facts or events. Police are required to read or give suspects their Miranda warnings only before questioning a suspect. Failing to follow the Miranda rules may cause suspects' statements to be inadmissible in court; the original arrest may still be perfectly legal and valid.
Police are allowed to ask certain questions without reading the Miranda rights, including the following:
Police can also give alcohol and drug tests without Miranda warnings, but individuals being tested may refuse to answer questions.
Learn More About Miranda Rights by Speaking to an Attorney
If you're detained by police and interrogated, you have the right to not say anything and to ask for an attorney. If your request is denied or ignored, and the police continue questioning you, then they're violating your rights. Reach out to a local criminal defense attorney to learn more and discuss your specific situation.