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Does a Person Have to Speak with The Police After Arrest?

When you are being arrested by a police officer, they must read your Miranda Rights:

“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. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

So, do you think you have to speak with the police after you’re arrested?

The answer is no.

You have the right to remain silent.

The very first sentence in the Miranda Rights is one that most people tend to forget because being arrested by a cop can be a highly stressful and intense situation. It can sometimes even get physical.

Your Miranda Rights must be read after your arrest or before your interrogation, otherwise it is a violation of your constitutional rights and anything you say cannot be used against you in a court of law.

The prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 444 (1966). The State “must show that the defendant understood his rights and intelligently and knowingly relinquished those rights before any custodial interrogation began.” 

The Miranda Rights are part of the fifth and sixth amendment where it protects you from incriminating yourself.

There are exceptions to this. You can tell the police your name and address or give your ID only if they pointed out what you did wrong or if you’re arrested.

For example, as a passenger in a car in Arizona, you do not have to provide your ID during a traffic stop. Otherwise, you legally do not have to tell them anything.

In another example where an officer stops you in the middle of the street and asks for your name, you have the right to know why. You have the right to know why an officer does anything to you. You do not have to engage in a casual encounter with police.

It may be hard, but do not give any explanations or excuses for anything you’re doing. Do not make small talk. Do not discuss where you are going or coming from.  If you want to leave, ask if you are being detained. If they say you are being detained, let them write you a ticket or arrest you, you cannot talk your way out of it and it will not help if you talk.

Get your Arizona criminal defense lawyer before you talk to the police. That is your constitutional right. If you can’t afford an attorney, like the Miranda Rights states, one will be appointed to you for free. Your attorney will instruct on what to do best based on your side of the story.

Being Arrested by the Police or Custody for Purposes of Miranda?

The police can only arrest you if they have probable cause or good reason to believe that you have committed a felony or misdemeanor. They do not need to see you commit a felony, they only need to have probable cause to arrest you.

Custody is questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. If you are deprived of freedom of action in any significant way, arguably you are in custody.

Factors indicative of custody when the accused has not been formally arrested are (1) the site of the interrogation, (2) whether the investigation has focused on the suspect, (3) whether objective indicia of arrest are present, and (4) the length and form of the interrogation.

You can get arrested by all law enforcement officers in Arizona, not just the police. This includes highway patrol officers, probation officers, parole/probation officers, and county sheriff officers are some to name. Any off-duty officer still works for the law, so you will be arrested by an off-duty cop if you have committed a crime in front of them.

You can find out more about what happens after a person is arrested here.

Know Your Rights: Myths Around Miranda Rights

There are a few common myths about Miranda rights:

  1. Myth: Police officers have to read you your Miranda rights as soon as you are arrested.

Fact: Police officers are only required to read you your Miranda rights if they are going to question you while you are in custody. If the police do not plan to question you, or if you are not in custody, they do not have to read you your Miranda rights.

  1. Myth: If the police do not read you your Miranda rights, any evidence they collect cannot be used against you in court.

Fact: Miranda rights only apply to statements that a person makes while in custody and being questioned by the police. If the police collect other types of evidence, such as physical evidence or eyewitness testimony, this can still be used against a person in court, even if the person’s Miranda rights were not read.

  1. Myth: If you waive your Miranda rights and agree to speak to the police, you can’t change your mind later.

Fact: A person has the right to stop answering questions or end an interrogation at any time, even if they have previously agreed to speak to the police. It is important to remember that anything a person says to the police can be used against them in court, so it is generally a good idea to speak to a lawyer before answering any questions.

What is Interrogation?

An interrogation means any actions that are likely to solicit an incriminating response. It’s not only questions, but any words or actions the police say or do that they know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the suspect.

If you’re awaiting to be taken into custody or for a detective to arrive to interrogate you and you engage in small talk with an officer where you made incriminating statements, but not in response to any intended questions to incriminate yourself, that is not considered interrogation. Some of the information gathered during the small talk can definitely be used against you in court, so never engage in small talk with the officer. Don’t talk at all and wait for your criminal defense attorney, they know the Arizona laws best.

After You Are Read Your Miranda Rights

After you are read your Miranda Rights, you can be questioned or interrogated by the police without an attorney present only if you understand that you are voluntarily giving up your right to an attorney present while being questioned and your right to remain silent.

If you’ve answered some questions before you have your Arizona defense lawyer present and remembered your right to remain silent, you can stop talking and refuse to answer any more questions.

If your Miranda rights were not read, it does not necessarily mean that your case will be dismissed. However, if the police fail to read you your Miranda rights before questioning you, any statements that you make during the questioning may not be admissible as evidence against you in court. This is because the Miranda warning is designed to protect your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

The Miranda warning is a set of rights that are read to criminal suspects in police custody or in a custodial interrogation. These rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The purpose of the Miranda warning is to inform suspects of their rights and to ensure that any statements they make are voluntary and not the result of coercion or improper influence.

If you are arrested and questioned by the police, it is important to remember that you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. You should exercise these rights if you are not sure how to respond to the police or if you are concerned about what you might say. If the police do not read you your Miranda rights, you should let your lawyer know, as this could potentially be used to your advantage in court.

You can get your criminal defense attorney to argue to have your statements suppressed.

The police will try to use anything you say to incriminate you so stay quiet until you get a lawyer. Also, the prosecutor needs to prove that all the evidence they intend to use in court was lawfully gathered and not in violation of your constitutional rights.

However, you are entitled to be informed of any issues concerning evidence against you. If you have proof that evidence was gathered illegally and in violation of your constitutional rights, you can speak with your Arizona criminal defense attorney to file a motion so that the evidence can be suppressed and not used in court.

After you are arrested and taken to the police station, you have a right to a phone call. Use that phone call to call your criminal defense attorney in Arizona, but if you don’t have their number or forgot it, call your bail bond agent, friend, or relative so they can pay your bail. Do not discuss facts of your case on the phone since everything is being recorded and will be used against you.

Voluntary Confessions in Arizona

If you voluntarily gave information to the police, that’s a different story. It is admissible in court sometimes even if they did not read your Miranda Rights because you willingly told them. It’s important to tell your Arizona criminal defense attorney anything you can remember about talking to the police so they can see if you gave voluntary information.

Voluntary confessions really depend on the circumstances. If the statements were extracted by any sort of threats or violence, (or) obtained by any direct or implied promises, however slight, (or) by the exertion of any improper influence.’”   Bram v. United States, 168 U.S. 532, 542-543 (1897). Promises could also lead a court to find your statements were involuntary. Before a statement will be considered involuntary because of a ‘promise,’ evidence must be established that (1) a promise of benefit or leniency was in fact made, and (2) the suspect relied on that promise in making the statement. 

A defendant’s belief that an officer would not arrest him if he spoke is not enough to prove that a statement was involuntary. Questioning a suspect before arresting him, but after advising him of his rights and telling him that the officer has probable cause to arrest is not an implied promise to not arrest, if the defendant cooperates.

Police are also allowed to lie to you and your confession may still be voluntary regardless of the lies you relied on when making the confession. Courts will tolerate some form of police gamesmanship so long as the games do not overcome a suspect’s will and induce a confession not truly voluntary.

Know Your Constitutional Rights & Get an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

The constitution of the United States was created in order to create checks and balances against corruption, abuse, and tyranny. This goes from the highest levels of government all the way down to local jurisdictions. There are rules and regulations that the police have to follow and that keep the police in place. They cannot just do whatever they want just because they work for the law. Their job is to detect and prevent crime and disorder, enforce regulations, and maintain law and order, all for the safety and health of the public.

You have your rights. Don’t forget it.

Contact your criminal defense attorney in Arizona to see if the evidence in your case can be challenged.