Popular media has likely taught most in Wheeling that if one is arrested, he or she should immediately be informed of his or her rights. Most could probably even recite the exact repetition of the words :"You have the right to remain silent...," etc. Yet even though most are familiar with this procedure, few may actually understand its purpose, or why it is even required at all.
These rights are commonly known as "Miranda Rights" due to them arising from a case involving an individual of the same from which the U.S. Supreme Court established this particular legal standard. Technically referred to in legal terms as "the Miranda Warning," this standard requires that law enforcement officials inform detainees of their rights to protect themselves against self-incrimination. According to the Cornell Law School, these rights (with the aforementioned right to remain silent) include:
- The right to consult with an attorney
- The right to have an attorney present during questioning
- The right to have an attorney appointed (if indigent)
What many may not know is that law enforcement officers are not necessarily required to give these rights immediately following an arrest. Rather, the law mandates that they be given before a custodial interrogation can begin. A custodial interrogation is any in which one is being questioned in connection with a crime and is not free to leave. Interestingly, one need not technically be arrested before being subjected to such questioning.
There is only one exception to the Miranda Warning: the public safety exception. Per the Federal Bureau of Investigation, law enforcement officers need not Mirandize one prior to questioning if they have a reasonably objective need to perform it in order to protect both themselves and the public from immediate danger.