28 Sep

The Miranda Rights and How They Can Protect You

Man in suit wearing handcuffsKnowing your rights as a civilian is an important duty that every American has. The constitution was created and amended to protect these very rights, and if you are arrested, you need to know what your rights are as a civilian.

Americans all over are protected by these rights, especially Miranda Rights. When the need arises, a Marysville criminal defense attorney from Feldman & Lee PS can aid you in your entanglement with the law. But what are Miranda Rights and how does this affect you as a citizen?

History of the Miranda Rights

The Miranda Right were named after the landmark US Supreme Court case Miranda v Arizona. Ernesto Miranda was arrested in 1963 for robbing $8.00 from an Arizona bank worker. After being detained for 2 hours, he not only confessed to the robbery but also to kidnapping and rape. He was brought in without being told that he did not have to speak to police or that he could consult with a lawyer.

After his conviction, his case was appealed to the Supreme Court which ruled that his conviction was void since Miranda was not informed of his constitutional rights. From then on, police are required to read a suspect their Miranda Rights—also known as a Miranda Warning—in the event of an arrest.

The Rights Explained

You have the right to remain silent: It is important to remember that silence cannot be used as a defense in court. However, “pre-Miranda silence” or silence which occurs before a suspect has been read their rights can be considered suspicious.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law: In the event of an arrest, it is important to remain silent. The second line of the Miranda Rights states that if you give any statement after your rights are read, you forgo your rights and your statement will be considered as testimony.

You have the right to an attorney: This affords you the right to have legal counsel present during your interrogation. It is important that you are informed that you can have an attorney present and can request for one if needed. Once this happens, police interrogation must cease.

If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you: The last line states that if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you free of charge.

Remember that the Miranda Rights are here to protect everybody. Police may ask basic questions like name, age, and social security number without reading your rights. If your arresting officer fails to read you your rights, all evidence, testimony, and confession is rendered null and void.