Even if you’re not a lawyer and you’ve never been arrested, you probably know your Miranda Rights. You have likely heard it over and over again in movies, TV shows, and books. However, there is confusion over how Miranda Rights work. Here is what you need to know about how Miranda Rights can protect you.
Miranda Rights is a basic reminder of your general rights under the law when you are arrested. When you are arrested, the arresting or an associated officer is supposed to go through your basic rights, such as the right to an attorney or the right to remain silent.
This practice is designed to help both police and their detainees navigate the legal process more effectively. For police, it serves as protection from potential evidence being thrown out in court or accusations that a potential criminal was ill-informed about how to handle the legal process.
For people who are arrested, it serves as a reminder of your basic rights, as well as a signal that you are now in a position where you should invoke those rights to protect yourself. For example, it is a signal that you should stop talking and demand to speak to your lawyer as soon as possible. Otherwise, you risk saying things that can be used against you in court.
Aside from signaling the beginning of the legal process, Miranda Rights inform you of the rights that you should invoke immediately. More specifically, these are the Fifth Amendment right to Silence and the Sixth Amendment right to Counsel.
In many cases, invoking these two rights when in police custody can have a big impact on the outcome of any further proceedings.
It also serves as protection for you as a suspect in that once you are Mirandized (read your Miranda Rights), the police cannot claim ignorance regarding those rights. If you demand access to counsel, the police have to make counsel available as soon as possible and cannot continue an interrogation. In a way, it’s a reminder for police as well that you have specific rights that they need to respect, and they cannot claim ignorance if those rights are violated.
It is important to remember that your Miranda Rights are in effect regardless of whether they are read to you or not. The Fifth and Sixth Amendments apply when you are taken into custody by police, and you can invoke them at any time. If you choose to remain silent or demand a lawyer, do so as soon as possible once you are in custody to avoid any confusion or possible problems that may occur.
If you find yourself in trouble with the law, try not to panic. The Sixth Amendment guarantees you legal counsel, which you should take advantage of. When you are able, contact Phillips Carson Phillips by calling (912) 232-0081 or using our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.