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Understanding your Miranda rights

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Facing criminal charges can be a daunting experience.

It is important to be aware of your Miranda rights to navigate the legal process successfully. Understanding these rights ensures fair treatment and protects you during police interactions.

Introduction to Miranda rights

When accused of a crime, the Miranda rights, established by the United States Supreme Court in 1966, become your shield. These rights safeguard individuals from self-incrimination and guarantee a fair legal process.

The right to remain silent

One fundamental Miranda right is the right to remain silent. If detained or arrested, the police must inform you of this right. You can choose not to answer questions without it being held against you in court. Your silence cannot serve as evidence of guilt.

The right to an attorney

Another critical aspect is the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, the court may appoint a lawyer for you. This ensures that you have someone to guide you through the legal proceedings and protect your interests.

Understanding the waiver

It is important to know that you can waive your Miranda rights, but this should be a conscious choice. If you decide to speak with the police without an attorney present, prosecutors can use anything you say against you in court. Understanding the implications of waiving your rights is necessary for making informed decisions.

Applicability of Miranda rights

Miranda rights come into play during custodial interrogations, where you are not free to leave, and the police are seeking information related to the alleged crime. If you are not in custody or facing interrogation, law enforcement may not evoke Miranda rights.

In 2021, California law enforcement made approximately 793,000 arrests. Regardless of the crime, a person facing arrest has rights, as long as the right to assert them to secure a fair and just outcome.