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Miranda Rights Texas:

“Don’t the police have to read me my rights to arrest me?”

“Is my arrest valid even if no one explained my Miranda rights?”

“The police didn’t read me my rights; was it a bad arrest?”

Attorneys are frequently asked some version of this question. This common inquiry is often due to a misunderstanding of Miranda rights and what it means to be placed “under arrest” by a police officer. Read on for some basics that will help clarify when and how Miranda rights are applicable.

Miranda rights are encapsulated in the Miranda warnings (“you have the right to remain silent…”). An important part of a criminal procedure that requires that every person be informed of his or her rights when taken into custody by law enforcement officers prior to being interrogated/questioned. 

By law, these rights are meant to be communicated in the interest of protecting a person against self-incrimination and informing a person of their right to counsel (based on the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution). If a police officer takes someone into custody and fails to issue this warning before questioning (aside from questions related to standard booking procedures: like name, contact information, health checks, etc.), any information obtained via interrogation may be inadmissible in court as evidence against that person. However, there are some exceptions to this rule:

Law enforcement officers are not always required to warn an individual about his or her Miranda rights. They can detain or arrest a person without “Mirandizing” him or her, so long as no interrogation/questioning commences.  The following are a few examples of the exceptions:

  • Public safety exceptions

This exception applies when there is imminent danger to the public; an example of this is a situation that involves armed individuals or the presence of weapons or other dangerous items that pose a direct threat to others – i.e. hostage negotiations.

  • Emergency exceptions

This applies when law enforcement agents are responding to calls that are potential emergencies; an example of this exception requires that police can reasonably assert that urgent emergency assistance is required nearby – like a 911 call for instance.

  • Waiver and sua sponte statements

If someone freely and voluntarily meets with law enforcement officers and either a. waives their Miranda rights (usually recorded in writing or via videotape); b. If someone makes statements to the police prior to the officer asking questions.

If you need help determining whether your Miranda rights have been violated, it is important to speak to a competent, experienced attorney. Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law is an Austin, Texas-based team of accomplished attorneys who are ready to help you with your case. Contact Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law online or at 512-359-3030 to discuss your needs.