One the pre-arrest stop is over, the tenor of police activity changes noticeably. At this point, the screening phase has ended, and the evidence-gathering phase has begun. Just like criminal defense attorneys go to great lengths to protect their clients, police officers go to great lengths to protect the other members of society, even if these people do not really need such protection.
Roughly the same rules apply. While police officers have the right to obtain the evidence they need to later convict the defendant, the defendant has individual rights, as well.
What do the Miranda Rights Mean in Illinois?
The landmark 1966 Supreme Court decision was actually four cases consolidated under one name. In each case, police officers had substantial evidence against the suspect. Officers then orally berated the suspects, usually for several hours and always without a lawyer present, until they finally confessed to the crimes. Perhaps even more disturbingly, most of the lower appellate courts summarily affirmed the convictions, often with little discussion and in one case (Vignera v. New York) without even issuing an opinion.
The Miranda rights are:
- Remain Silent: Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Outside of basic “name, rank, and serial number” information, defendants have an absolute right to refuse to answer any questions while they are in custody. They also have the right to cease interrogation at any time if they began volunteering information. Most Illinois courts require that the assertion of these rights be very clear and unequivocal.
- Speak with Attorney: An attorney must be present during any custodial interrogation, a term of art whose meaning is a little vague. The attorney also has the right to meet with the client, and although this meeting is not necessarily private, nothing said can be used in court, at least in most cases.
- Obtain Representation: The state must appoint attorneys, or designate a public defender, for incarcerated individuals who cannot afford private representation. Some courts either do not appoint attorneys for individuals out on bail or sharply limit their availability in these instances.
All these rights are in the U.S. Constitution, so Miranda did not make any new law. It did set clear rules for these cases, however, and that had never been done before.
Do I Have Any Other Rights in Illinois?
Chicagoland defendants have some other rights, as well, some of which are in the Constitution. A few of the more prominent ones include:
- Outside Communication: The “one phone call” rule exists only in the movies. Defendants may make as many calls as necessary to inform friends or loved ones about their situations.
- Refuse Tests: Defendants do not have to take any physical agility tests (field sobriety tests), chemical tests, polygraph exams, or other tests. In some cases, most notably the refusal to take a chemical test, the refusal may be admissible later.
- Representation During Lineup: Outside interrogation, this situation may be the most critical event in an arrest. To ensure that the lineup is fair and not unreasonably suggestive, an attorney can be present at both live and photo lineups.
- Judicial Action: Unless the defendant faces a capital offense, the judge must almost always set reasonable bail. Furthermore, the defendant has a right to see the judge within a reasonable time after arrest, usually 72 hours.
The primary difference between the Miranda and non-Miranda rights is that a violation of the former usually invalidates the arrest, while a violation of the latter may not have that same effect.
Contact Experienced Lawyers
It is important for people to know their rights when they are arrested. For a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal law attorney in Schaumburg, contact Glasgow & Olsson.
(image courtesy of Brandon Wong)