Of course what we are talking about here is the recitation of the Miranda Rights. Also known as the Miranda Warning, a recitation developed by Chief Justice Earl Warren of California. The United States Supreme Court mandated the reading of the Miranda Rights in 1966. It was the court’s way of making sure that police did not coerce or improperly obtain information that could be used during a trial.
When being read your rights the police officer who is arresting you would say:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?”
You have the right to silence which is guaranteed by the 5th Amendment. So it is not necessary to divulge information to a police officer. An officer only needs to read you your rights if he or she intends to ask you questions in order to gather evidence for a trial and you are deprived of your freedom, for instance if you are cuffed or in jail.
Traffic stops are an exception. Typically a police officer asks for your drivers license and registration. This is a request that you must comply with before the stop escalates into an arrest unnecessarily.
If you are arrested and you are interrogated by police without having been read your rights, it is possible that the answers you give can not be admissible as evidence in a trial. You may accidentally incriminate yourself. There may be other evidence that incriminates you already. So an absence of a Miranda does not mean that you have an edge on the court case.
The best action is to politely evoke the 5th amendment and speak to an attorney first before answering any questions.