Most people have at least heard of the Miranda rights, especially thanks to shows focused on crime or police work.
However, a majority of people do not actually understand how Miranda rights work or what protections they offer.
What are Miranda rights?
Miranda Warning discusses Miranda rights in detail. They explain the Miranda rights warning, which is clear and direct. It includes mention of a person’s right to remain silent, which is the part most people have a passing familiarity with.
However, it also mentions a person’s right to an attorney regardless of whether or not they can afford one. The warning statement specifically mentions this with the line: “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.“
Clarifying a person’s understanding of rights
Then, the officer reading the Miranda rights must specifically ask if the individual in question understands what they said. The person must then consent to speak with the officer even knowing their rights. Or, of course, they can refuse to speak with the officer without an attorney present.
What happens if your rights aren’t read?
If a person was not read their Miranda rights, their case may potentially end up dismissed, though this is not common. What is more likely is that anything a person said during an interrogation, even potentially vital evidence, will likely become inadmissible in court. This could lead to the dismissal of the case.
A person can also waive their rights by saying they understand their rights but choose to speak with officers anyway. Many will do this because they think it makes them look innocent. However, since this is a relinquishment of freedom, it is not generally suggested.