Criminal Defense

Your Rights After an Arrest

What are my rights?

Many individuals who are arrested and charged with a criminal offense often have questions about the arresting protocol of officers. In particular, many have questions regarding their rights and the significance of these rights. Our Houston criminal defense attorneys make it a point to immediately address these concerns and to promptly answer all client questions. The following information can better help you understand what these rights are, how they relate to arrest procedures, and what they mean to your defense.

Miranda Warning

The Miranda warning – also known as Miranda rights – is a warning given by law enforcement officers to individuals who are suspected of committing a criminal offense. The warning touches upon some of the most essential rights accused individuals have under the United States Constitution.

Although they may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, warnings typically state that:

  • You have the right to remain silent when questioned.
  • Anything you say or do can and may be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have legal representation present during questioning now or in the future.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you before questioning.
  • If you choose to answer questions now, without an attorney present, you still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.
  • Knowing and understanding your rights as have been explained, are you willing to answer questions without an attorney present?

Whether a suspect is incarcerated, in the backseat of a police car, or at the scene of a crime, officers must read them their Miranda rights if they are in custody. If they are not in custody, however, a Miranda warning is not required. This is an exception not known by many accused individuals. Simply put, officers can question individuals and use their answers in court without first providing a Miranda warning if the individual has not yet been arrested.

Other exceptions and complexities also exist. When public safety concerns become an immediate issue, exceptions can be made. In general, Miranda rules are not always absolute and they can be elastic. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court has resisted efforts to create uniform standards and requirements for officers advising suspects of their Miranda rights, which means that questions regarding Miranda warnings and their impact on a case and evidence must be addressed on a unique basis.

Cases & Evidence

One of the most significant aspects related to these rights is that they serve as a type of preventative measure used by law enforcement officers. Anything said or done by a suspect may be used as admissible evidence if these rights have been waived. Depending on the jurisdiction and situation, however, things can get complicated. For example, in some jurisdictions, officers can question suspects who have waived or invoked their rights ambiguously, meaning that their statements may be admissible as evidence.

At the Law Offices of Billy Skinner, our legal team is accustomed to hearing questions about Miranda warnings, often from clients who were not read their rights. Although Miranda warnings are not always an absolute requirement, there are still many instances in which officers fail to advise suspects of their rights while they are in custody or otherwise fail to adhere to arresting protocol. By reviewing all circumstances surrounding your arrest, our criminal defense lawyers can better determine if the evidence obtained through questioning is inadmissible in court.

Learn More About Your Rights During a Case Consultation

Understanding your rights and how the Miranda warning impacts your case can better help you understand your defense.

Our Houston criminal attorneys are here to address all of these issues during a case consultation. Learn more about your case and how we can help by filling out a case evaluation form today.