However, contrary to what you may have heard, Texas police officers do not have to read you your Miranda Rights before they arrest you or when they are questioning you based on reasonable suspicion.
They also do not have to give you Miranda Rights at a stop for a traffic violation or before asking you common booking questions. There are also a few other situations where Miranda Rights do not have to be read.
The situation changes once you are placed under arrest. At that point, the police are constitutionally required to give you a Miranda Warning.
A Miranda Warning in Texas consists of telling you that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say can and will be used against you in court.
You must also be told that you have the right to have an attorney present with you, and if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
The purpose of the Miranda Warning is to prevent you from saying anything that could later be used against you in a criminal proceeding.
Waiving your Miranda Warning
You can waive your Miranda Warning, but doing so is usually not a good idea. Staying silent and asking for an attorney is the best idea.
When you ask for an attorney, make your request clear. If you mumble something about how you should “probably have an attorney for this,” that statement might be too vague to be considered a valid request.
What happens if you are not given a Miranda Warning?
If police officers do not read you the Miranda Warning before questioning you or placing you under arrest, anything you could be seen as an involuntary statement. This means it cannot be used as evidence in a criminal case.
Knowing your rights is important, and it is not always easy to understand if your rights were violated. This is why it is vital to talk with a criminal defense attorney before saying anything.