Criminal Defense in Orange County

Understanding Your Miranda Warning

Have you ever watched a crime drama film or television show? If so, then you have probably heard at least part of the Miranda rights (or Miranda warning, as they are recently known). While this part of our criminal justice process has become ubiquitous, it is often the case that those accused of a crime do not understand its purpose—or have critical misconceptions about what they mean for their criminal charge.

The full Miranda warning is as follows:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to an attorney during questioning.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you.
  • You can exercise these rights at any time.

"Why am I being warned?"

When being taken in custody by police, those accused are usually flooded with uncertainties about what they are allowed to do and what they are not. There was a period of time, before the Miranda rights, when law enforcement could take advantage of this uncertainty and manipulate and compel accused individuals into answering questions they shouldn't have had to answer.

So, basically speaking, the Miranda warning protects citizens from being compelled to incriminate themselves. They let us know that we do not have to speak to police and that from the moment we are arrested, we can request a legal professional to help us navigate our charges.

"I wasn't given my Miranda warning—am I free to go?"

A common misconception about the Miranda warning is that if it is not read or is incorrectly read, that the criminal charge against the accused is invalidated. This, however, is not the case and the absence of a Miranda warning cannot prevent the state from trying you for an alleged offense.

However, if you do not receive a proper Miranda warning, it can still have a significant effect on your case. In these circumstances, not only is anything you say while in custody not admissible in court, but the thoroughness and integrity of the arresting officers and detectives can be called into question.

Have you been accused of a crime? If so, then we invite you to contact The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs today. Attorney Gibbs has more than three decades of legal experience and, over that time, has helped countless clients in more than 2,500 cases. Our firm is ready to bring that kind of trial-tested experience to your case and ensure that the best possible outcome is placed within reach.

Do not face this troubling time without a dedicated and proven Anaheim criminal defense attorney by your side. Contact our firm today.