Featured News 2013 Your Miranda Rights

Your Miranda Rights

When you are arrested for any sort of crime, it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to make you fully aware of your rights at that time. It is not unheard of that an arresting officer will fail to do so and therefore violate your rights as a person; in many cases this can be used in your defense by your attorney. Miranda rights are essentially what protect you from saying anything that can be used by the prosecutors later on against you. We have all heard the speech on numerous law and crime shows; however these words are absolutely critical in an arrest. Miranda rights include:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law
  • You have the right to an attorney
  • A lawyer will be appointed to you by the court if you can't afford your own
  • You have the right to have a lawyer present during all questioning
  • When talking with an officer you are legally able to stop speaking at any time you choose

In America it is your right to hear the Miranda warning at any point you are taken into the custody with an officer of the law. If an officer wants to speak to you at all about the situation, they are required to fully disclose your rights to you at that time to give you the option of speaking up or waiting for legal representation. It is important to realize that the reading of these rights is only required in the event that you are taken into legal custody (or arrested) as opposed to just being in the presence of an authority. So, if you are not in police custody and you say something relating to a crime that has occurred, law enforcement could later on use that against you in court and possibly arrest you because of what you had previously said.

As stated, if you have not been arrested and the police question you, whatever you say can be used against you within your right to freely speak. However, you do not necessarily have to speak if you feel as though something you say will be used against you, and the officer (in most cases) cannot arrest you because of your refusal to answer their questionings. Why is this? Because in the U.S. Constitution, the Fifth Amendment clearly states that you have the right to remain silent and unless an officer has probable cause for your involvement in a crime, you are protected.

Though with anything in the criminal justice system, there are always exceptions to your rights. This includes loitering and traffic stops. If you are found loitering, an officer may demand your explanation as well as identification for your actions. In a traffic stop if an officer suspects that you violated some law of the road, then you will be required to hand over your identification to the officer, by refusing to do so can result in more charges against you.

When dealing with officers and your Miranda rights, they are only legally able to use information hat was willingly or voluntarily given to them in the court of law. If any force or threatening is used to obtain information in the event of an arrest, your defense attorney will seek to prove that and the court will likely consider that statement as being inadmissible (unusable) in court. In the event you have been arrested for a criminal offense, contact a criminal defense attorney in your area to represent

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