Part of the criminal justice process is the investigation, during which Texas police may ask a suspect certain questions about his or her role in the alleged crime. Even if suspected of a crime, a person still has rights during questioning in police custody. It is beneficial for everyone to know his or her rights and the limits of law enforcement during this stage in the process. A violation of a suspect’s rights could affect the outcome of the case.
Specific individual rights
Every individual has Miranda rights, which apply in situations where law enforcement is taking someone into custody for questioning. This is part of a person’s Fifth Amendment rights, something that protects individuals from accidental self-incrimination. Police will give someone a Miranda warning, which includes a statement of:
- The right to remain silent
- The right to legal representation
- The right to an appointed attorney if the suspect cannot afford one
A suspect also has the right to know that anything he or she says during questioning could be used against him or her by the prosecution. It is often most prudent during questioning to stay silent until legal counsel is present.
Protecting Fifth Amendment rights
It is possible a Texas suspect may experience a violation of his or her rights during questions or at some point during the investigation. If this happens, it could compromise the entire case. It is beneficial for the individual suspected of a crime to have legal help in order to know how to challenge unfair treatment and build a strong defense.