Dedicated Texas Criminal Defender

How a Miranda rights violation can affect a criminal case

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | Evidence in Criminal Cases

Much of what most people know about the criminal justice system comes from popular media. Many movies and television shows focus on police officers or the court system. The information from entertainment can give people inaccurate ideas about what may happen if the state accuses them of a crime.

The average criminal defendant does not fully understand their rights under the law, and inaccurate assumptions based on movies or television shows could put them at a significant disadvantage during a criminal case. While many criminal defendants understand the basic idea of the Miranda warning, they still may struggle to recognize when a violation actually occurs.

What does the Miranda warning involve?

The Miranda warning is a mandatory warning offered by police officers when they decide to arrest someone. Individual defendants need to know about their right to remain silent and their right to legal representation when responding to criminal charges. Someone questioned before arrest may not have heard the Miranda warning. Someone arrested but not questioned might also never hear the Miranda warning.

What constitutes a Miranda violation?

Questioning someone who is under arrest without informing them of their rights first is a violation of that individual’s civil liberties. Ignoring a defendant who invokes their right to remain silent or their right to an attorney by continuing the questioning process uninterrupted is also a violation of their Miranda rights. The need to inform a defendant of their basic rights is so important that police departments generally need to obtain interpreters if necessary to ensure that individuals know their rights before sitting down with officers.

What does a violation mean?

A violation of Miranda rules can have a major impact on the criminal case against an individual. A defense attorney can potentially prevent the courts from hearing evidence obtained after a violation of someone’s rights. It is possible to ask the courts to exclude a confession or any contradictory statements made during questioning if police officers committed a Miranda violation while questioning an individual.

Defendants who know their rights are less likely to make mistakes that put them at risk while in state custody. Establishing if a Miranda violation occurred can help someone determine the best defense strategy in their criminal case. Excluding certain evidence can help a criminal defendant increase their chances of winning at trial.