You’ve probably heard them recited on television shows. The Miranda Warning is a list of your rights upon arrest. The police officer arresting you should read them to you. This list of five fundamental rights was created to ensure police didn’t interrogate anyone against their will. The Supreme Court established the Miranda Warning in a 1966 decision. Understanding the impact these rights have is critical should you find yourself arrested. Take a closer look at what they mean and how they can help.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
When a police officer stops you, depending on the state where you live, you may legally have to produce identification. This stop and identify statute applies in situations where the police have a reasonable belief you have committed or will commit a crime. You may start engaging in conversation with the officer and answering questions. However, once the officer advises you of your arrest, this first Miranda Warning means you do not have to answer any further questions or even speak.
Anything You Say Can and Will Be Held Against You in a Court of Law
The second prong of Miranda makes the reason behind the first clear. Anything you say to the police, especially after your arrest, may be presented as evidence against you. This saves you from any self-incrimination that may occur during police questioning.
You Have the Right to an Attorney
A lawyer is your advocate in court. They ensure that the process used to arrest you and the evidence against you is valid. Even if the police have a case against you, a lawyer will advocate on your behalf to either get it thrown out or provide a viable alternative to the crime. Thus, it is beneficial to have one.
If You Cannot Afford an Attorney, One Will Be Provided
The court can appoint a lawyer to help you free of charge in the event you can’t afford to retain one. This ensures that every person can be represented in court.
Do You Understand These Rights
The officer needs you to answer in the affirmative. If you do not understand something, you should ask for clarification here.
Do You Wish to Answer Questions
After your rights are read, the officer will check to see if you want to answer questions freely. This is up to you, and choosing to remain silent will not go against you in court. Sometimes, the police will try to entice you to speak, which is a violation of your civil rights.If you can prove you were not properly Mirandized, your arrest may get tossed. Finding a criminal justice lawyer, like a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, CA from The Morales Law Firm, may prove beneficial.