The so-called Miranda warning refers to the obligation of law enforcement officers to formally advise individuals who have been detained by them about specific legal rights. The warning resulted from a 1966 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States in a case known as Miranda v. Arizona. There are four basic elements to the Miranda warning:
- the right to remain silent
- that anything said by the individual can and will be used in court
- the individual has the right to an attorney
- if the individual can’t afford an attorney, the court will provide one
What happens if the police forget to issue a Miranda warning?
If a Minnesota police officer detains someone, an arrest could follow. No matter what circumstances occurred prior to being stopped by police, a person detained by the authorities regarding a possible crime has rights that protected under the U.S. Constitution. Some of those rights (such as the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent) have an impact on whether statements made to police are admissible in court. While an arrest can be made without the police issuing a Miranda warning, statements made by the accused individual in those circumstances may be ruled inadmissible as evidence in court.
Exceptions to the rule
If a police officer believes that a person is an immediate risk to public safety, statements made to law enforcement without a Miranda warning could still be admissible in court. Further, an individual who has been arrested is required to provide basic information (age, name, address) even in the absence of the warning. To protect the police officer, the individual may also be searched even if the warning has not been made. Also, the individual has the right to waive his or her rights and speak to law enforcement, even after having received the warning.
Legal issues related to the Miranda warning are complicated. Anyone facing arrest or potential charges will likely benefit by refusing to answer questions from law enforcement and insisting on his or her right to legal counsel. In Minnesota, a seasoned criminal defense attorney can provide valuable assistance focused on protecting the rights of the client and geared toward achieving optimal results.