It is one of the most common misconceptions of Utah criminal law. Many people believe if they are not read their Miranda Rights, they are able to escape without punishment. Nothing could be further from the truth. However, prosecutors cannot use anything said by the suspect as admissible evidence, which can be extremely damaging to their case. But there are some exceptions we will closely examine in today’s Salt Lake City criminal law blog.
What Are Miranda Rights?
We have all heard about Miranda Rights. But what exactly does it mean? When a person is placed under arrest, the officer must inform the suspect their basic rights before they begin any type of questioning or interrogation. When an officer provides a suspect their Miranda Rights, they will have to say the following:
You have the right to remain silent
Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law
You have the right to have an attorney present during any questioning
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you if you desire.
When Can Police Officers Inform Suspects Their Miranda Rights?
When it comes to criminal law, crime scenes can often get messy and complicated. While each case is different, most are often chaotic. Unpleasant words are often exchanged along with pushing, shoving and sometimes worse. But anytime a criminal suspect is either placed under arrest or deprived their basic freedoms, they must be read their Miranda Rights. However, if a person is not placed into police custody, the officer does not have to provide any Miranda warning. However, police officers have their own tricks and methods to get away with these practices. Some officers will go out of their way to avoid making an arrest and let a person know they are free to go. But should a suspect make an incriminating statement, they can then make the arrest.
Far too many people throughout Utah are arrested because they do not properly understand their rights. For example, you do not have to answer any questions from a police officer if you have not been arrested. Even if a person is placed under arrest, they do not have to answer any questions. However, some situations may require you to provide proper identification. The most common advice by Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys is to stay quiet after an arrest.
A Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Police officers have a difficult job. But even law enforcement officers can make mistakes. One of the most common is the failure to inform a suspect their Miranda Rights. Whether you are charged with a violent crime, sex crime or theft crime, failure of law enforcement to follow correct procedure can damage their case. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime and mistreated by law enforcement, it is important to seek representation from an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer. The criminal defense attorneys at Matern & White, PLLC are committed to protecting the rights of each client and to always look after their best interests. To learn more, contact their Salt Lake City criminal law office today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.