Navigating situations regarding criminal charges for drugs and Miranda warnings can be tricky. In the heat of the moment, a detainee might focus more on not screwing up. Also, they might not realize the warnings are part of constitutional law. This article will provide information to help you understand the Miranda warnings in relation to criminal charges.
What are Miranda Warnings?
Miranda warnings refer to rights that police officers must provide to someone who is arrested or detained. These warnings are constitutionally mandated. The warnings typically include the following statements:
- 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 talk to a lawyer and have them present with you during questioning.
- If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you.
After reading these rights, the officer will ask the defendant if they understand each of the rights and wish to proceed.
Why Do These Warnings Exist with Criminal Charges for Drugs?
The warnings come from the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution. “The right to remain silent” is from the Fifth Amendment and deals with self-incrimination. The Sixth Amendment is about someone’s right to seek counsel. Because of this, the warnings include a statement that the defendant has the right to obtain a lawyer. The lawyer can also be present during questioning.
Criminal Charges for Drugs – When Would the Warnings Matter?
Let’s say that you are pulled over by a police officer for speeding, and they believe you are in possession of drugs. If you are waiting silently outside while the officer searches your car, the Miranda warnings do not necessarily apply. However, as soon as the officer starts asking questions such as “do you have drugs in your car” or “have you purchased marijuana or another drug recently,” your answers can lead to your conviction. The officer should read the Miranda warnings before asking questions. That way, you know you can remain silent if you wish. If the officer does not read the warnings, then your answers may be excluded during any later trial.
The Exclusionary Rule
The Miranda Warnings are important when it comes to criminal charges for drugs. Failure to administer the rights means the statements from defendants can be ruled inadmissible. This is relevant during the trial and can result in the prosecution or defense not being able to use evidence gathered in violation of the United States Constitution. However, it will not lead to dismissal of your case.
We know that criminal charges for drugs can be scary and confusing. If you received a drug charge, Stephen Bowling and Associates might be able to help you. We can also help you dissect the situation to determine whether the officer read your Miranda warnings. Contact us today to schedule an appointment online or by calling 512-599-9000.