What are the Miranda Rights in Arizona?

What Are the Miranda Rights in Arizona

What Are the Miranda Rights in Arizona?

“You have the right to remain silent….” Anyone who has watched police and crime shows on television has heard these words many times. Have you ever thought about what they mean, or how they would affect you if you were arrested for a crime? The Miranda Warning, which arose from the U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona (1966), holds that a defendant cannot be questioned by police until the defendant is made aware of the right to remain silent, the right to consult with an attorney and to have the attorney present during questioning, and the right to have an attorney appointed if they cannot afford one. If defendants are not properly “Mirandized,” however, their entire convictions can be thrown out on appeal. A case involving these matters was recently appealed in Arizona.

State v. Aldana

In State of Arizona v. Luis Aldana, filed in the Arizona Court of Appeals on Aug. 12, 2021, the defendant, Aldana, alleged that statements he had made to police after he was given Miranda warnings should not have been admitted at his attempted murder trial. Aldana had been stopped by police for alleged involvement in a shootout with them earlier that day. He was injured and was taken to the hospital for treatment, under police supervision. Aldana engaged in small talk with the police officers supervising him at the hospital before he was given any Miranda warnings, and made incriminating statements at that time. Once Aldana’s condition was stabilized and he was released from the hospital, he was arrested for attempted murder and Mirandized. He was then formally questioned by police, and made more incriminating statements.

During his trial, Aldana challenged the admission of both rounds of incriminating statements – the ones he made before he was Mirandized and the ones made after. The court suppressed the first statements, but allowed the second to be used at trial, as they had been made after he was Mirandized. He was found guilty by a jury of attempted murder.

In his appeal, Aldana argued that the second round of incriminating statements should not have been admissible because they arose from an unconstitutional two-stage interrogation technique, in which police deliberately elicited incriminating, inadmissible statements before Mirandizing him, then asked him to repeat the statements he’d already made after Mirandizing him. The Court of Appeals agreed that this type of two-step interrogation technique is not admissible, but upheld the admission of the second round of incriminating statements, saying that the officer questioning the defendant the second time did not even know Aldana had made incriminating statements to another officer at the hospital. Aldana’s conviction was therefore upheld.

What Should I Do If Questioned by Police?

If you are questioned by police for your alleged involvement in criminal activity, do not answer any questions they ask without a lawyer present. Police often use initial questioning to gather evidence and support a later conviction. You should exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and request to have an attorney present before you answer any questions – whether you are guilty or not.

If you have already made incriminating statements to police, and are facing criminal charges as a result of those statements, do not say anything more to them. Request a criminal defense attorney, and contact our Arizona criminal defense law firm for assistance. Our experienced lawyers might be able to keep your incriminating statements from being used against you in court. We have successfully argued to suppress statements and evidence in criminal cases in the past and have had numerous criminal charges dismissed as a result of our efforts. If you are concerned about potentially incriminating statements that you might have made to police, stop talking to police immediately, and contact our Arizona criminal defense firm today.