Most people don’t understand Michigan state law, let alone their rights under the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. People misunderstand how legal code works or make wildly inaccurate assumptions based on stories they hear on social media or something they saw in a movie.
While the average person can’t tell you all of their rights when dealing with the police, most everyone in the United States knows about the Miranda Warning. The Miranda Warning often features prominently in movies and television shows, which is why many people can tell you that you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney when the police arrest you.
Although people do understand the basics of the Miranda Warning, they don’t understand when an officer has violated the rules and often fail to invoke their rights outlined in the Miranda warning.
Did an officer fail to read you your rights?
Many people think that they have defense leverage because the officer who arrested them did not advise them of their Miranda rights before putting them in handcuffs or transporting them to a state facility. However, these individuals do not understand the rules that apply to Miranda Warnings.
The Warning is not part of the arrest process but rather a crucial protection prior to questioning or interrogation when someone is in police custody. A police officer can arrest you, transfer you to a jail facility and have a judge arraign you for a crime without ever reading you the Miranda Warning. They can do all of that without violating your rights if they do not question you while you are in police custody.
Police officers can question you before they arrest you without notifying you of your rights, but they should not question you anymore once they arrest you or believe they have probable cause to do so. At that point, they must inform you of your Miranda rights, even if they have to bring in a translator to do so. Questioning you without notifying you of your Miranda rights could give you grounds to challenge any evidence based on statements or confessions made during that conversation with the police.
Knowing your rights is not as important as invoking them
It does not benefit you at all to understand that you have the right to remain silent and the right to representation by an attorney if you fail to assert those rights while dealing with law enforcement. Knowing that you don’t have to answer the police and asking for the assistance of a lawyer can significantly increase your chances of successfully defending yourself in criminal court.
When you understand the rules that govern criminal cases in Michigan, you will be in a better position to respond to those allegations.