Have you ever heard a law enforcement officer say this?
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
Those rights that he is referring to are called your Miranda right. That speech itself is called the Miranda Warning. It’s to inform you that you have the ability to invoke your Miranda rights and remain silent. In most cases, officers are required to read this warning to you before they interrogate you.
But just what does it mean to invoke your Miranda rights then?
What Falls Under Miranda Rights?
In order to understand your Miranda rights, let’s break down the three major factors mentioned in the Miranda warning. These three major factors are:
- Right to Remain Silent: You do not have to say anything to the police. The police will often try to trick you into speaking to them, and in doing so they are allowed to lie and tell you that if you just tell them what they want to know then they’ll let you go. Once you tell them, you find yourself locked in a cell. You have a right to remain silent, which means you don’t need to speak to the police and it is a right that you should use.
- Anything You Say Can Be Used Against You: Note that the Miranda warning informs you not just that what you say can be used against you but that it will be used against you. It implicit promises that anything you say can be used to show your guilt. This line is important because it reinforces how important it is not to speak to the police without an attorney present.
- You Have the Right to an Attorney: This informs you that you have the right to an attorney and that means that you have the right to a professional who will help you defend yourself against the legal system that is trying to convict you. But it is also letting you know that you have a right to have an attorney present while being questioned and this is extremely important because of everything we’ve already discussed. It is always best to work with your own lawyer but they can provide one for you.
It is the police’s responsibility to inform you of these rights and to ask for confirmation that you understand these rights. A failure to do so is a failure to maintain the law of the United States and disrespecting American citizens like yourself in this manner should not be taken lightly by any attorney.
What Happens If I Wasn’t Read My Miranda Rights
Depending on the circumstances of the charges in question, it is extremely possible that you may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped if your Miranda rights were ignored. Reach out to Wilder Law Firm to learn more about what can be done.