Once you are in police custody and are about to be interrogated by law enforcement, officers are required to read you your Miranda rights. These rights stem from the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, you have:
- The right to remain silent (anything you say can be used against you in the court of law)
- The right to consult with an attorney
- The right to have that attorney present during interrogation
- The right to have an attorney appointed to represent you if you cannot afford one on your own
If you invoke your right to be silent at any point during the interrogation, the interrogation must cease immediately. If you invoke your right to have an attorney with you during the interrogation, the interrogation must cease until the attorney arrives.
If a Colorado law enforcement official failed to properly give you your Miranda warning and proceeded to interrogate you, they have violated your Fifth Amendment rights. Therefore, anything you said during the unlawful interrogation cannot be used by prosecutors in the case against you. Additionally, if evidence is obtained as a result of something you said during the interrogation, that evidence will be inadmissible, unless prosecutors can prove they would have recovered it even without your statements.
What should I do if I am in police custody?
Generally, you are advised to say as little as possible when in police custody. Officers will use all sorts of techniques to try to get you to make an incriminating statement, but if you can remain silent and only speak to request an attorney, it will be easier for your criminal defense attorney to defend you against the charges you face. However, if you did make an incriminating statement during police questioning, your defense attorney may be able to prove that the interrogation was unlawful due to a violation of your Fifth Amendment rights.