A person who is taken into custody in Maryland or any other state must be read his or her rights. Failure to do so could result in a statement being suppressed before or during a trial. It could also result in any other evidence obtained based on that statement to be suppressed as well. An individual has the right to know that he or she can remain silent at all times while in custody.
That individual also has the right to know that legal counsel is available to help with the matter. Furthermore, an officer must mention that counsel will be appointed to those who cannot afford to pay for it. Lastly, anyone who is detained must be told that anything that he or she says can be used as evidence in court. These rights were established by a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Miranda v. Arizona.
In that case, a man named Ernesto Miranda gave a written statement during a police interrogation and affirmed that he understood his rights when doing so. However, Miranda had not been notified of his right to remain silent or his right to have an attorney present. Therefore, the Supreme Court ruled that he had been coerced into giving that statement. In its ruling, the court said that Miranda likely would have been less forthcoming if he had counsel present.
Those who have been detained or facing a criminal charge are allowed to have legal professionals assist in their cases. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help get evidence suppressed or take other steps to help negotiate a plea deal. In some cases, a lack of evidence may be enough to get a case thrown out before a trial begins or make it easier to obtain an acquittal.