Miranda rights are an extremely well-known and integral part of our legal system. We have all been exposed to these rights in the media, movies, and television. But do you really have an accurate understanding of your Miranda Rights? To begin, understand that they were first created in 1966 in a case named Miranda vs. Arizona, and most people have a high level understanding of these as follows:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  3. You have the right to an attorney.
  4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

Caveats to Miranda Rights

There are a few caveats to your Miranda Rights that most people don’t understand. Firstly, you should know that if you are not read your Miranda Rights when you are taken into custody for interrogation, anything you say or do is thought to be involuntary. As such, it couldn’t be viably used in a case against you.

Failing to read a suspect their rights is a massive no-no for law enforcement personnel because any statements, confessions, or other evidence will likely be thrown away and disregarded. And above all, you should closely guard your tongue during an arrest and be very cognizant of how you behave and what you say (or don’t say).

But here’s the biggest catch—you don’t need to be read your Miranda Rights for every arrest. In fact, there are many situations where the police don’t need to recite these rights to you at all. In some situations the statements you make will be subject to Miranda Rights while other times they are not. The only time that the Miranda Rights apply is when the police have the intention of interrogating you!

Protecting Yourself

Another thing most people don’t understand is that you can waive your Miranda Rights and make a statement if you so desire. But this is most often a colossal mistake. Unless you have an intimate understanding of legal concepts, it is usually better to remain silent; in these situations, less is more. Many people who waived their rights view the report at a later date and either feel that the officer didn’t record their words verbatim or they feel like it was taken out of context.

The fact of the matter is that you only have one way of controlling what is recorded in the police reports: exercise your rights and stay quiet. An arrest can be extremely emotionally challenging and tensions frequently flare out of control, but you need to do your best to remain silent until you can find legal assistance. Just remember that speaking out of turn or saying the wrong thing during the intensity of questioning or interrogation could easily be used against you in a court of law—whether you meant what you said or not. Just try to keep a level head and don’t say anything out of bitterness or anger.

Contact Rogers & Moss for your free, no-risk, consultation.