Do You Know Your Miranda Rights?
Although law enforcement officials are no longer required to read you your Miranda Rights when you are arrested, they are required to do so if they are questioning you in a criminal investigation with the intent to use your statements as evidence against you. Before you get into a sticky situation, it is crucial to understand your Miranda Rights.
- You have the right to remain silent.
This right is only valuable if used. You have the right, and you need to use it. Whatever you say could get you in big trouble, and it is best to stay quiet until you have an attorney.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
The words “can” and “will” are very important here, and anything you say will be used against you in the most harmful way possible. To avoid these consequences, exercise your first Miranda Right and stay quiet.
- You have the right to an attorney.
You have the right to an attorney for your case. If you request an attorney, all questioning must cease until you have one. You must invoke these rights by stating, “I want an attorney, and I will not answer further questions until I have one.” Simply saying, “I think I need an attorney,” will not cut it and could lead to further complications later.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
If you cannot afford to hire an attorney but state that you want one, one will be appointed to you. You have a right to one, and you must exercise that right.
- Do you understand the rights I have just read you?
With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?
The law enforcement officer questioning you is trained in advanced interrogation techniques. Anytime you are questioned about allegations of criminal conduct, you should immediately exercise your right to remain silent and consult with an attorney.