When people in Colorado are arrested by the police, they should receive mandatory warnings that remind them of their right to protection from self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. Called Miranda warnings, this list of rights is associated with a 1966 Supreme Court case that affirmed a person's right to be warned of their constitutional protections when taken into police custody. People arrested for criminal charges must be told that they have the right to remain silent, that their words could be used against them in court later, that they have the right to an attorney and that a lawyer will be appointed for those who cannot afford their own.
These rights are a simple breakdown of Fifth Amendment protections, reminding people that they do not have to talk with the police and can ask for a lawyer no matter what tactics the police may use to extract confessions or further information during an interrogation. Many people are familiar with the concept of reading a person's rights, especially because the moment is frequently featured in police dramas in movies or television. However, when people are arrested, they may not be sure how these warnings affect their own criminal charges.
If police fail to provide the required Miranda warnings at the time of an arrest, the defendant may be able to get any confession or other statements that they made thrown out of court. It may be considered a coerced, involuntary or otherwise inadmissible statement. Even more, other evidence gathered as a result of the statement might also be excluded at trial.
When people's Miranda rights are violated by the police, this could have a major effect on their case. A criminal defense attorney may help to identify violations of a person's rights by the police and advocate on their behalf to avoid a criminal conviction.