When placing someone under arrest, New Mexico police must conduct themselves in specific ways. Law enforcement must follow certain procedures, and you have rights, regardless of why they are arresting you. Law enforcement must recite your Miranda rights as part of the required and proper police procedure. Failure to do this is a violation of your constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment.
Knowing your rights gives you a better chance of protecting your interests during an interaction with law enforcement. If the police violate your rights in any way, it could compromise the entire case against you. During an arrest, the police must recite your Miranda rights, and if they fail to do so, certain aspects of the prosecution’s case could be invalid.
Your Fifth Amendment Miranda rights
The Fifth Amendment grants you protection against self-incriminating statements while you are under questioning by police. If the police want to interrogate someone in their custody, they must inform them of these rights. When arresting someone, police must recite the suspect’s Miranda rights, which include the following facts:
- The defendant has the right to remain silent.
- The prosecution may use anything a defendant says while in custody against him or her.
- The defendant has the right to attorney.
- The defendant has the right to an attorney appointed by the court if the defendant cannot afford one.
If you are under arrest or facing questioning, you do not have to say anything or answer any questions. You also have the right to ask for an attorney at the earliest possible point. The police often give the Miranda warning during arrest, but not always. They must give it before beginning any custodial questioning. If you do not get the warning before questioning, anything you say will not be admissible. You have protection against self-incrimination, and you do not have to navigate the criminal justice system without representation.
Your best defense
If you are under arrest, facing criminal charges or under investigation for suspected criminal activity, you have rights. If you believe that law enforcement violated your rights in any way, you may have grounds to challenge the evidence against you and the procedure used to obtain that evidence. In order to build the best possible defense strategy, you will find it helpful to learn as much as you can about your legal options as soon as possible after an arrest.