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Tag Archives: Miranda warning

IL defense lawyerThe Miranda Rights have been around for 50 years, yet many are unsure of the appropriate usage. These rights, also known as the Miranda Warnings, explain to a suspect being placed under arrest what their rights are in the situation. Most officers have presented the statement so many times, they rush through it haphazardly, without giving proper emphasis to allow the receiver to understand the message entirely. Although in television shows and other media all suspects are “Mirandized”, it is unnecessary for some situations. However, if the officer did not read you your rights when they should have, your case may be overturned in court.

What Are the Miranda Rights?

The Miranda Rights are named after Ernesto Miranda, the plaintiff in Miranda v. Arizona. Police accused Miranda of stealing $8.00 from an Arizona bank worker. After hours of grueling questioning, he finally confessed not only to the robbery but also to kidnapping and rape. Police never explained that he had a choice to concede; nor that he could hire an attorney. He was initially found guilty; a ruling which was later appealed when the Supreme Court ruled that the evidence was inadmissible because the officers never made him aware of his Constitutional rights. Since this case, any officer arresting someone for interrogation must recite the following:

“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?”

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DuPage County criminal defense attorneys, right to remain silent, Miranda rightsYou have probably seen a crime drama television show where a police officer reads a suspect his or her Miranda rights.

These rights were established in U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, which was decided in 1966. In that case, the court ruled that anyone suspected of a crime must be informed of the following:

“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?”

The Miranda warning covers two rights: the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

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Wheaton criminal defense lawyer, exercising your rightsWhen confronted by law enforcement, many people worry about exercising their rights—they do not want to "look guilty." However, this is the wrong way to look at one's rights. Once you better understand what your rights are and why they are important, the better prepared you will be if you are ever investigated or arrested for a crime.

Understanding Law Enforcement’s Perspective

The police and other law enforcement agencies are charged with upholding the law. Part of their job is to investigate crimes, arrest the suspected criminals, and collect evidence for prosecutors to use in a criminal trial.

When you are contacted by law enforcement, you do not know if they are investigating a crime or collecting evidence. Law enforcement officers do not have to tell you if they think you are guilty of a crime.

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyer, right to remain silentWhen you watch someone get arrested in the movies or on TV, you will often hear the law enforcement officer tell the person getting arrested:

  • You have the right to remain silent;
  • Anything you say or do can 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 appointed to you; and
  • Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you? 

These rights are commonly called a Miranda warning, after a famous U.S. Supreme Court case. However, how do these rights apply to you? 

When Does Your Right to Remain Silent Start?

In the real world, it is possible to be arrested without having a police officer read you your rights. The right to remain silent described in the Miranda warning is the right to not incriminate yourself when you are in police custody and are being interrogated. If you are arrested and not questioned, you do not have to be given the warning. However, if you are arrested and interrogated, and you are not told about your rights, anything you say after your arrest may be thrown out by a judge. 

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