You have many constitutional protections under the U.S. Constitution in criminal cases in Virginia. One important right you have is the right not to self-incriminate yourself. This means that you cannot be forced to testify in court or make incriminating statements against yourself.
The police are required to give you your Miranda warnings to inform you of this right. You need to understand what the police must tell you when giving you your Miranda warnings and what happens if they violate your rights.
What Must the Police Tell You When Giving You Your Miranda Warnings?
The police are required to give you your Miranda warnings when they take you into custody before they question you. They must inform you of the following:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.
- You have a right to have a lawyer present when you are questioned.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you at no cost to you if you request one.
What Happens If the Police Fail to Give You Your Miranda Warnings?
Given how well-known a person’s Miranda rights are, you might think that the police are careful not to violate this important constitutional right. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The police sometimes fail to give Miranda warnings when required to or give them incorrectly.
If your Miranda rights were violated, this does not mean that the criminal charges against you will automatically be dismissed. However, any statements or confessions you made to the police would be considered involuntary and inadmissible in your criminal case.
In addition, any evidence the police obtained due to these statements would be suppressed. The prosecution’s case against you could be significantly weakened, and you may be able to get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense through a plea bargain.
Are you facing criminal charges in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? Our experienced criminal defense lawyers can mount an aggressive defense strategy for you. To learn more, fill out our convenient online form or call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 to schedule your free initial consultation today.