The U.S. Supreme Court is getting closer to ordering police to explicitly advise criminal suspects that their lawyer can be present during any interrogation. According to an Associated Press news report, the nation’s high court is looking into the Miranda rights warning which must be read to all criminal suspects by arresting officers. The justices are debating in one particular case whether police told a suspect clearly that he could have a lawyer present while being interrogated by the police.
There are several slight variations used by law enforcement when giving the “Miranda Warnings.” The warnings include: “You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you free of charge and before any questioning.” The suspect is then usually asked if they understand these rights and are willing to give up these rights. In the particular case now before the United States Supreme Court, the state Supreme Court had overturned the man’s conviction saying that police did not properly and adequately convey to the suspect that he was allowed to have a lawyer with him during questioning.
Very often, this is violation of someone’s Constitutional Rights and we’ve seen it happen as Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys. We recognize that most people do not know exactly what their Miranda rights are and whether they should speak to the police or not. It is almost always inadvisable to speak to police. The Miranda warning as it is right now may not clearly convey the message to an arrestee that he or she has the option to have an attorney present during interrogation. This is a huge problem because a lot of things can be said during interrogation under duress that can and will be used against the defendant during the trial. This could make a big difference in a case’s outcome.
If you have been charged with a crime in Los Angeles, Orange or Ventura counties, please contact Sitkoff & Hanrahan for a free and confidential consultation. We will make sure that your constitutional rights are protected. Call us today at 866-430-8383 to discuss your case.