Your Miranda rights include two of the most valuable protections when in the custody of law enforcement agents. Your right to remain silent helps protect you from aggressive interrogation efforts. When you don’t speak, you don’t have to worry about falling victim to manipulative police tactics that get you to incriminate yourself unintentionally. The right to legal representation helps you identify these problematic behaviors and manage your interactions with law enforcement safely.
Simply knowing your rights isn’t enough. You also have to assert them when the time comes. Police officers will be quite pleased to take a verbal confession right after advising someone that they don’t have to answer any questions. If you don’t understand and actively assert your rights, you may put yourself at a disadvantage when the time comes to defend yourself.
What do you need to know about your Miranda rights if you ever get arrested?
You should hear about your rights before questioning
One of the most common misconceptions about the Miranda Warning is that people think police officers must provide it when they put someone in handcuffs or in a police vehicle.
However, the real rule is that officers cannot question someone in state custody without first informing them of those rights. If officers arrest you but never question you, they can legally get away with never advising you of your Miranda rights.
You can take action if an officer violates your right
There have been some changes to the protection you enjoy from the Miranda Warning. The Supreme Court recently ruled on a Miranda rights case that will have far-reaching implications for defendants.
Specifically, the courts found that criminal defendants can no longer initiate civil litigation against the police officer or department for a violation of their Miranda rights. However, defendants still have the right to challenge the inclusion of information obtained in a Miranda violation scenario. You may be able to convince the courts to exclude any statements implicating you made during questioning if officers did not provide the Miranda warning beforehand.
Knowing your rights will help you stand up for yourself when facing criminal charges or in state custody and not yet accused of a specific offense.