Popular television shows and law enforcement movies have somewhat informed citizens about Miranda rights. These are the rights that a person possesses after having been arrested. Almost anyone in the United States would recognize the phrase: “You have the right to remain silent.” Most people, however, do not understand what Miranda rights are or how they are used.
When someone is in custody or arrested by the police, it is crucial that they understand that they do not have to speak to the police. That person’s defense case may depend upon whether or not they exercised their right to remain silent. All too often, an arrested suspect does not understand their rights and says too much, creating issues for the defense of their case.
The Top 3 Reasons to Avoid Speaking to the Police After You Have Been Arrested
If you are pulled over by law enforcement, you are already under a temporary arrest. This means that you would break the law if you flee the scene. By law, if you are pulled over or stopped by a law enforcement officer, you must comply with the police officer by providing your name, address, identifying information, and vehicle information. However, once you are under arrest or the police officer begins to interrogate you, you do not have to speak for the following three reasons:
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
The Miranda rights were created under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth and Sixth Amendments to protect persons against self-incrimination. Since most people do not fully understand the scope of their rights, they could say too much and incriminate themselves. Self-incrimination makes any legal defense a challenging pursuit.
Most likely, nothing you say to a police officer will convince them not to arrest you. Other than providing basic identifying information, you have the right to say nothing. You should say nothing until you have an attorney present to guide you on what to say.
You Have the Right to an Attorney
In addition, the Sixth Amendment provides the right to attain legal counsel for suspects of a crime. Suppose an individual cannot afford to seek legal counsel or does not have their own counsel. In that case, their rights allow for legal representation to be provided, regardless of their financial situation.
Once you evoke your Miranda rights and request legal counsel, the law enforcement officer can no longer interrogate you until you have legal representation by your side.
Having legal counsel will ensure that a suspect of a crime is supported and that their rights are protected.
What You Say Will Be Used Against You
Law enforcement officers become part of the prosecutor’s team and appear in court to testify against suspects. The officers have a right to use what you say to them in a court of law, which can dramatically hurt your case. Even if you feel like the police officer is on your side, know that they are trained in interrogation techniques and are not looking out for your best interests. Most likely, the police officers working with the prosecutor are not interested in helping you defend your case.
When you are arrested, a police officer reads you your Miranda rights. You must acknowledge that you understand your rights, and you can either remain silent or waive those rights by speaking to the police officer and answering their questions. Although implicitly or explicitly waiving those rights is not a good idea, you can still choose to stop talking at any point and stay silent until you have legal representation.
Contact a Southeastern Pennsylvania Attorney at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., to Discuss Your Case
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., has a team of defense attorneys in Southeastern Pennsylvania with experience helping individuals reduce, or even eliminate, charges filed against them. Being arrested does not mean you are guilty, and our criminal defense attorneys work diligently to prove the innocence of our clients in the court of law. For a free and completely confidential consultation, contact our office at (215) 822-7575 or fill out our contact form.