You see it on TV and in the movies all of he time: police officers reading suspects their Miranda Rights as they're arrested. The officer starts talking about the right to remain silent as he or she cuffs the suspect, saying that anything the suspect says can be used in court.

This is so common that many people believe police have to do it while making an arrest or they are violating the suspect's rights. Is this true?

Arrests and Interrogations

It's not actually true, at least not in the way that people assume. The police may arrest you, cuff you, and put you in a squad car, all without reading you the Miranda Rights. This does not make the arrest illegal.

However, the police cannot interrogate you before they read you these rights. After all, the rights specifically cover the things that you say to police, so you need to know, before being asked any questions, exactly how that information is going to be used -- and that you don't have to answer, no matter how hard the police try to intimidate you or force you to answer against your will.

At the Time of Arrest

All that being said, the police will usually read you your rights while making the arrest, and most departments advise that officers do it like you see in the movies. They're just trying to cover their bases and make sure any questions the officers ask on the spot -- officers may quickly be trying to gather information about other suspects, victims and the like -- are being asked legally.

Your Rights

Police officers do have set procedures they must follow when arresting you, and you do have rights, no matter what type of crime you've been accused of committing. Never forget that, and always make sure you know your legal options if those rights are violated.