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Miranda Warning for Defendants in Wisconsin

Posted on in Criminal Defense

defendants, Consitutional right, Wisconsin defense attorneyThe U.S. Constitution provides people who are taken into police custody with a variety of rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. However, because of the complex legal nature of these rights, the Supreme Court has required officers to read a short explanation of these rights to people being taken into custody. This warning is known as a Miranda warning because the Court introduced it in the case Miranda v. Arizona.

It is important for people in custody to recognize when they are getting their Miranda warning because once they have been informed of their rights they may accidentally waive them. The Miranda warning varies from place to place, but it will generally sound like this: “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 appointed for you. Knowing and understanding your rights as I have read them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present.”

When the Rights Must Be Read

These rights are designed to protect people in police custody, so the police are required to read them whenever they have taken someone into custody and expect to interrogate them. Taking someone into custody applies to more than putting someone in handcuffs and taking them down to the station. Once an officer restricts a person's ability to move freely they are placing them in custody, and most questions qualify as “interrogating” the person, so Miranda warnings apply in a wide variety of contexts.

What the Rights Mean

The Miranda warning highlights two main rights that a person has when dealing with the police: the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The right to remain silent allows a person to refuse to answer the police's question. However, police are allowed to continue asking questions of the person. This means that even if a person starts off silent or affirmatively invokes their right to remain silent, if they then start talking the right may be waived. The right to counsel is the other right. It allows the person to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer present during questioning. This right must also be affirmatively invoked, meaning that the person in custody has to ask the police for an attorney and they must do so clearly and in a timely manner.

If you or someone you love is currently facing criminal charges, reach out to a skilled Milwaukee criminal defense attorney today. Our firm's experienced team of professionals can help work with you to find the best way to end the situation and avoid life-changing consequences.

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