Understanding Your Miranda Rights

Posted by Jarrett P. AmbeauOct 13, 20220 Comments

Your defense in a criminal case turns on the facts and law. Your rights as a person exist in the law, and your criminal defense attorney should fight for those rights at every turn. 

Your rights during a stop by police or an arrest are clear, and these are non-negotiable rights and cannot be taken from you on the side of the road. I would suggest that the side of the road is not the best place to fight for, or assert, your rights; but you benefit from them at all times. 

The laws of the United States and Louisiana are in place to protect the public, but at times are used to harm rather than help. We are a nation of people, not politicians and laws. Our rights are paramount. The founding fathers knew this was an issue and passed the Bill of Rights to supplement the Constitution and codify the rights of the people of our country. 

One of the fundamental rights afforded to the people were established by the US Supreme Court and are called the Miranda rights, and they are violated at an unfortunate rate by police officers.

Whether a violation of your Miranda rights is intentional, you can use the violation in your defense. Our criminal defense lawyer in Louisiana will identify whether your Miranda rights were violated, and then use that information to build a solid defense. At The Ambeau Law Firm, we take your constitutional rights seriously. Contact us at 225-330-7009 to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how to build a strong defense for your criminal case.

What Constitutes Miranda Rights in Louisiana?

U.S. citizens have certain constitutional rights that protect them when interacting with the police and criminal justice system, and this is true wherever you are in the United States. These rights are known as Miranda rights, which were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona. 384 U.S. 436 (1966). 

Anyone who has been taken into custody and interrogated by the police must first be read their Miranda rights. The reading of your Miranda rights is known as a ‘Miranda warning' because the police are “warning” you of your constitutional:

  1. Right to remain silent, because anything you say can be used against in court
  2. Right to a lawyer, even if you cannot afford the services of a private attorney

These rights, born out of the 5th and 6th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, are in place to ensure equal protection under the law. Violation of Miranda rights may be reason enough to suppress any incriminating evidence against you so long as that evidence was obtained from the violation. Motions to suppress or motions to exclude evidence flowing from a Miranda Rights violation can be a critical part of your defense. In fact, getting charges dismissed can result from the finding that Miranda rights were violated in Louisiana.


Are there Exceptions When Miranda Warnings Are Not Required?

There are exceptions to Miranda warnings, and these exceptions apply to when police must give Miranda warnings and when evidence can be excluded for Miranda warning violations. 

Exceptions to When Police Must Give the Miranda Warnings

A few situations exist where the police are not required to read a person the Miranda warnings. These situations include when the officers are: 

  • questioning someone for public safety purposes
  • asking standard booking questions, like your name and address
  • using an informant to talk to a person while incarcerated
  • stopping a vehicle for a traffic violation.

As mentioned, when there's a Miranda warning violation, any evidence obtained from the violation can typically be excluded as evidence. There are, however, a few important exceptions.

  • Public safety. When the police ask questions for the purpose of public safety and discover any evidence of alleged criminal activity, it can be admitted as evidence against the alleged offender. 
  • Witnesses. When the police question a suspect, albeit unlawfully, and identify a potential witness, that witness may be allowed to testify at trial.
  • Tangible evidence. When the police question a suspect, albeit unlawfully, and discover tangible evidence, that evidence can often be admitted to court. 
  • Inevitable discovery. When the police question a suspect, albeit unlawfully, and tangible evidence is discovered, that evidence may still be admissible if it would have been discovered without questioning the suspect.

Can I Talk to the Police?

You can. But should you? Probably not. It is usually not advisable to talk to the police without the presence of an attorney. You may, however, still want to speak, and Miranda Rights can be waived. Just remember: if a police officer delivers a Miranda warning, but you continue to talk, that information can be used against you as evidence in court. 

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Baton Rouge Today

When your Miranda rights are violated, your attorney can use that to file motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the case––it all depends on the facts and circumstances. This can be a critical component of your defense strategy. 

At The Ambeau Law Firm, we know what to look for and will file motions to exclude evidence when it's applicable. Contact us today at 225-330-7009 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. Get the defense you deserve if you have been charged with a criminal offense.