We often see in movies and crime procedural TV shows how police characters arrest a suspect and read out the Miranda Rights as they cuff the suspect’s hands together.
When Miranda Rights are not recited during the arrest, the suspect might think that something is wrong and that he or she can use it to evade the charges altogether. But this is not the case. There is no fault if a police officer failed to read the Miranda Rights during the arrest, because the right place and the right time are needed to properly deliver it.
What is the Miranda Rights?
In 1966, the US Supreme Court made a landmark decision called Miranda vs. Arizona that states that prior to custodial arrest, an arresting officer should read the Fifth Amendment to the person under arrest.
The contents of the rights are as follows:
- 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 in time of questioning.
- An attorney will be given to you if you cannot afford one.
The Miranda Rights are also applied in Las Vegas. They were made to stop unlawful incrimination of suspects testifying due to dirty police tactics. With the Miranda Rights, arrested individuals can use their silence or the right to an assistance of a Las Vegas criminal attorney to preserve their innocence.
When should it be read?
The Miranda Rights must be read during custody, which means when the suspect and the law enforcement officers are in a secure and stable place ready for interrogation. What you see in Hollywood movies wherein suspects are read the Miranda Rights while being pinned down on the hood of a police car are only made for dramatic effect and should not be taken as a reflection of what actually happens during an arrest.
What are my rights?
As stated above, you can remain silent throughout your arrest and custody because everything you will say can be used against you, especially if you have been Mirandized. To help defend yourself, it is best to not answer any of the questions of the questioning officer. Instead, ask for your Las Vegas criminal attorney who shall guide you on your answers if you choose to respond
If it happens that the Miranda Rights were not delivered to you during the entire custody, assess the situation. Maybe you are not actually meant to stay in detention, but only brought in for questioning purposes and are allowed to leave at any time. If this is the case, then there is no need for the reading of Miranda.
If it is clearly implied or stated that you are arrested, then whatever you say, even if it is an outright testimony, cannot be used against you in court and shall be rendered as an unlawful confession. Your Las Vegas criminal attorney will find evidence that you were not Mirandized to prove this defense.
What happens after an arrest in Las Vegas?
When arrested in Las Vegas, you will be taken to the county jail, usually the Clark County Detention Center, to start your legal process. First, you will be fingerprinted and photographed, then you will be interrogated. The order of the process depends on the officers in custody or the jail. You can also post for bail for an immediate release from custody.
Next is the arraignment or the first court appearance wherein the alleged charges will be given to the defendant. This is also the time to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
After the arraignment comes a pretrial conference or the laying down of evidences, plea bargain, and sentences. If an agreement or a sentence was not made, a preliminary hearing will occur or the continuous scrutiny of evidence and defense of the defendant. It also acts as a sample run through of the major trial.
When all is set, the judge will then move on to trial and sentencing where it will be decided whether the suspect will be acquitted of the charges or will receive punishment. Remember that what you say during your interrogation has an impact on all the subsequent hearings and trials.
Your rights are important and it is the law enforcement’s duty to properly impart it, but know that it takes calculated procedure to make it all effective.