This is the next post in our series discussing when the rights of Arkansas residents may have been violated by police. Our last post discussed when a police may search a resident’s home and when a citizen can reasonably expect privacy. This post will discuss when incriminating statements made to police may be suppressed in Court.
Police must read Miranda Rights prior to interrogating an Arkansas resident in custody
Your Miranda rights are a set of warnings that a police officer advise you of prior to conducting a “custodial interrogation.” Examples of Miranda rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Once one has been informed of these rights then an officer may not conduct an interrogation unless the suspect voluntarily waives the Miranda rights. If an officer violates these rules then statements made to the police may be inadmissible under the Fifth Amendment.
It is important for an Arkansas resident to know that they do not have to waive their rights when they are in custody. It is common for police to attempt to interrogate a suspect without an attorney present. The police have no obligation to continuously remind you of your right to remain silent. They will often do everything possible to make a person in custody feel as if they are required to participate in an interrogation. While police may legally ask a suspect questions, it is not legal to intimidate a person into answering or to prevent one from speaking with counsel. Also, a defendant who is requesting an attorney may not be prevented from speaking with one. If statements are made in violation of these rules then your lawyer can file a Motion to Suppress the statements.
Arkansas residents must understand that Miranda does not apply unless they are “in custody”
If a person is not in custody then the officer is not required to advise them of their Miranda Rights. This means that officers can openly question someone who is not in custody. This leads to many people, who are interacting with police, into not understanding the gravity of the situation; people often do not see a situation as serious if the police have not “read the rights.” If one makes an incriminating statement in a situation like this then the statements will be allowed in Court. This is why it is important for Arkansas residents to understand that they do not have to speak with an officer if they do not wish to.