Put Your Faith In A Law Firm You Can Trust

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Criminal Defense
  4.  » Miranda rights are relevant to criminal defense

Miranda rights are relevant to criminal defense

Facing criminal charges in New Mexico can be a stressful and daunting experience. In 1966, the Supreme Court of the United States made a ruling that changed the face of the criminal justice system throughout the country. The effect was to establish a stringent protocol that police must follow when they are interrogating someone they have in custody. These rules are commonly referred to as “Miranda rights.”

Many people mistakenly believe that police must inform a person of his or her Miranda rights before making an arrest. This is not true. In fact, it is possible to make a lawful arrest in New Mexico or any other state without mentioning  Miranda rights. However, police may not conduct an official interrogation without first advising an individual of his or her Miranda rights.

The Fifth Amendment is integral to Miranda rights

Many people assume they must always provide a verbal response if a police officer questions them. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects against self-incrimination. When issuing a Miranda warning, a police officer must tell an individual that he or she has a right to remain silent. A person must verbally invoke the right for it to take effect. The person must also be made aware that, if he or she does speak, anything said or done can (and will) be used against the individual in court.

New Mexico police (and those in all other states) must also inform a person of his or her right to legal counsel. If police interrogate someone in custody without issuing a Miranda rights warning, the interrogation is unlawful. Anyone facing criminal charges may challenge evidence or request a case dismissal if Miranda rules were not given when they should have been.