Although most people have probably seen a show in which an arresting officer reads the suspect his or her rights, not everyone clearly understands exactly what they mean. When facing arrest, a person of interest is probably feeling overwhelmed and may make a mistake that has devastating consequences.

Knowing what rights one has while under arrest helps prevent someone from incriminating him- or herself.

Constitutional rights

According to Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, the Miranda warning informs persons of interest about their rights, which come from the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the United States constitution.

The basic rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. There is also the right to have the attorney present when any person of authority is asking questions.

According to FindLaw, an officer does not have to read the Miranda rights during the arrest, but must read them before any interrogation begins, whether that is at the police station, during the car ride to the station or at the jail. Even before an officer reads the rights, it is smart for the person of interest to remain silent, as saying anything could negatively affect the case.

Violation of Miranda rights

In the event that Miranda rights were not read to the defendant, and the person of interest says something self-incriminating, there is a good chance this will work in the defendant’s favor. The defense attorney can argue that any confession or discovery made during that time is unlawful. This may lead to evidence getting thrown out or even a dismissal of charges.