If you ever find yourself arrested, it’s vital to remember to make use of your Miranda Rights.
Originally created in 1966 following a U.S. Supreme Court decision in the legal case of Miranda v. Arizona, the Miranda Rights (sometimes also referred to as the Miranda Warning) represents a term of the law easily recognized by everyday citizens of the United States but what exactly are those rights to you. Even if you’ve never been arrested, it’s probably fair to assume you’ve heard the phrase “You have the right to remain silent” used in a movie or tv show.
At their core, the Miranda Rights serve as a legal shield protecting everyone’s right to avoid self-incrimination when they’ve been accused of a crime. Keep in mind that law enforcement will most likely not read you the Miranda Rights unless they intend to question you as a suspect in a crime. Miranda Rights are only required when police are questioning you in relation to a criminal investigation and hope to use your answers as evidence against you.
Here’s a brief overview of the four main points of the Miranda Rights.
1. Remain Silent
Very simple, very straightforward. If you find yourself being arrested or detained for questioning by law enforcement, you have the right not to respond to any questions. Law enforcement does not have the right to force you to respond to any of their questions, since any answer supplied by you can be used as evidence against you.
2. Anything Said Can and Will Be Used Against You
This one explains exactly why you should keep silent. If the police investigators go through the trouble of interrogating someone, they’re going to make use of anything they learn during that interrogation.
There can be very little wiggle room on this point, too. If you respond to a question with a joke or rude remark, that response could be used as a truthful admission and not taken as “just kidding.” Even if you know you are innocent, if you should be closed mouthed unless you have a lawyer present to guide you.
3. The Right to an Attorney
You may have heard the phrase “Only the guilty ask for a lawyer.” Whoever came up with that phrase was probably also responsible for the phrase “The innocent have nothing to hide.” It’s not true, and you should never accept that argument from anyone.
The right to an attorney stems from the understanding that, legally, it’s the prosecution’s job to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So if they’re going to use every legal tool in their arsenal to do so, you as the accused have the right to make use of the same legal tools to refute the charge.
Think of it like playing a game of professional football. The other team has helmets and pads on. If you’re going to step on the field with them, you’d better have helmets and pads on, too. In other words, you need to be protected and a criminal defense lawyer like David Clarke of Murfreesboro can be the right defensive lineman you need.
4. If You Can’t Afford An Attorney, One Will Be Provided For You
This goes in line with your right to an attorney. Legal representation can be very expensive, but that fact does not disqualify anyone from making use of it. If you can’t afford one, one will be provided to you.
If you need an attorney, ask for one. This will pause the questioning until one is provided. Obviously you can arrange to get your own criminal defense lawyer and do not have to use the court appointed one. You can also switch to a criminal defense attorney of your choice later in the process.
If you are told one cannot be provided, or get any resistance to that request, remind them of this fourth right of your Miranda Rights.
David Clarke has handled many Criminal Defense cases including DUI defense cases and he will work on your behalf to make sure you have the best defense possible if you have been charged with a crime or a DUI (driving under the influence). Get the help of a proven Murfreesboro Criminal Defense attorney or DUI attorney!