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Featured   February 29, 2024

What Are My Rights When Arrested In Wisconsin?

When you think of a person getting arrested, what does that look like in your mind? More importantly, what does it sound like? Are you imagining a uniformed officer cuffing a suspect while reciting “You have the right to remain silent, etc…”? While this may represent some experiences with being arrested, this is not always how it goes. 

Understanding Your Rights

Being arrested is often a stressful and confusing experience, but it is crucial to remember that you have rights. These rights, often referred to as Miranda rights, serve to safeguard individuals' constitutional protections during interactions with law enforcement. 

All About Miranda

Miranda rights, derived from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona in 1966, are constitutional rights that protect individuals from self-incrimination during interrogation by law enforcement. 

In Wisconsin, Miranda rights are required to be read to a suspect under specific circumstances. You know what your Miranda rights sound like, but what does each line mean for you if you are being arrested? Let’s break this down, line-by-line. 

You Are Under Arrest

When you are arrested, you are required to be informed that you are being arrested and why you are being arrested. This means that law enforcement is required to provide a clear explanation of the charges against you and the basis for your arrest.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

This means you are not obligated to answer any questions posed by law enforcement, especially if the answer can potentially incriminate you. Your right to not incriminate yourself is protected by the Fifth Amendment and cannot be taken away, regardless of the severity of crime you have been accused of. 

You Have the Right to an Attorney

You have the right to have an attorney present during any questioning by law enforcement. This means that you can refuse questioning until your legal representation arrives. 

If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you at no cost. Public defenders are available to represent anyone who does not have the resources to hire their own attorney. 

It is highly recommended that you take advantage of this right fully and request legal representation as soon as possible if you are arrested. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the legal landscape surrounding whatever crime you have been accused of. 

You Have the Right to Refuse Consent to Search

You have the right to refuse consent to a search of your person, vehicle, or property unless law enforcement has obtained a valid search warrant. It is important to keep in mind that officers are legally allowed to lie to you in regards to their search permits, so you should always ask to see the document to verify before allowing anyone to search you or your property. 

Refusing consent does not imply guilt and is fully within your rights as a citizen.

When Are Officers Required to Mirandize You?

Despite what Law & Order may have you believe, police officers are not required to Mirandize every person ever arrested. Miranda rights are only read under certain circumstances. 

Specifically, Miranda rights are only required in situations involving custodial interrogation. If you are not in custody or are not being subjected to interrogation, law enforcement officers may not be obligated to provide Miranda warnings. However, you always retain your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, allowing you to remain silent regardless of whether or not your  Miranda rights are read.

What is Custodial Interrogation?

Custodial interrogation refers to a situation where an individual is in police custody and is subjected to questioning by law enforcement officers. This concept encompasses two key elements:

Custody: Custody refers to a scenario where a person's freedom of movement is significantly restrained by law enforcement. This can include being formally placed under arrest or being detained in a manner where a reasonable person would not feel free to leave.

Interrogation: Interrogation involves questioning or conduct by law enforcement officers that is reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the individual. This can include not only direct questioning but also any words or actions by the police that are intended to elicit a response from the individual that could be used against them in a criminal prosecution.

When both custody and interrogation are present, law enforcement officers are required to inform the individual of their Miranda rights before questioning them. If Miranda warnings are not provided in situations of custodial interrogation, any statements obtained from the individual may be deemed inadmissible as evidence in court.

What Happens if You Are Not Mirandized?

If you were not Mirandized during a custodial interrogation in Wisconsin, there are potential legal consequences. Most notably, failure to Mirandize can affect the admissibility of statements or evidence obtained during the interrogation. 

Here are some ways that failure to Mirandize can affect a case:

  • Exclusion of Statements
  • Suppression of Evidence
  • Impact on Prosecution's Case
  • Civil Rights Violations

Get the Representation You Deserve!

When facing legal challenges, having the right legal representation can make all the difference. At The Singleton Law Firm, we are committed to providing our clients with the legal representation they deserve. 

With our extensive experience and dedication to client advocacy, we strive to achieve the best possible results for each and every person we represent. We understand that navigating an arrest can be overwhelming. Finding the right attorney shouldn’t be.

Don't face your legal challenges alone. Contact The Singleton Law Firm now to get the representation you deserve!

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Milwaukee, WI 53188
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
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