You Have the Right to Remain Silent
Video Transcribed: What are Miranda Rights? I’m Oklahoma attorney, James Wirth. And we’re talking about Miranda Rights and how they may affect a defendant facing allegations of a criminal offense. So everybody knows the Miranda Rights. It’s stuff you see on TV all the time.
It advises you of your rights before they try to question you. You’ve got the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law. You’ve got a right to be represented by an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, one can be appointed for you. Okay?
So the Miranda was a case that went to the United States Supreme Court, and they basically found that a confession is not knowingly and voluntarily given, essentially under duress, perhaps, and unconstitutional, if they’re not advised of their rights ahead of time.
So in Oklahoma, as in other states, typically law enforcement will have a card they’ll read from that’ll explain the rights, or they’ll have a sheet that they’ll print off. If it’s at the police station, they’ll have a sheet, and they’ll go over with the defendant.
They’ll have the defendant and initially each one as they go through and sign it, acknowledging that they know about all of these rights and that they’re waving it and agreeing to speak with the defendant. And then they try to get that confession out of them.
So we’ve talked to people a lot of times. They say, “They never advised me of my rights. What can we do about that?” So as a practical matter, not always can something be done, but we want to look at the right case where something can be done.
So first off, the recourse of having your Miranda Rights violated is that you can request the suppression of the statements that you made thereafter. So when somebody asked me, “They violated my Miranda Rights, what can we do?” I say, “Well, did you make an incriminating statement? Do we want to keep that statement out? If so, then we can look at that.” And then we want to look at, were they in custody at the time, and were they free to go?
So if you are being potentially detained, you always want to ask, “Am I free to go?” And then if you are not free to go, then you’re interrogated in custody at that point. And anything they’re asking you is a custodial interrogation where Miranda applies.
The next thing is, are they asking a question where they have reason to believe that the response may be incriminating? If they’re just talking, and there’s no reason to believe that anything that they’re asking you is going to lead to an incriminating response, but you blurt out something incriminating, then Miranda may not apply there either.
However, if we can show that those things are in place and they failed to give Miranda, then we’ve got grounds at a Jackson-Denno hearing to request that those statements be suppressed and not be able to be heard by the judge or jury at a trial. So that’s what Miranda is. That’s what you do if there’s a violation of it, are you try to keep that information out. Beyond that, there’s not a lot of recourse you have for a violation of Miranda.
If you’ve got questions about your specific circumstances, though, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about that confidentially. To get that scheduled with somebody at my office, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.