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Tag Archives: right to remain silent

Illinois defense attorneyPolice officers frequently begin questioning potential suspects immediately upon initial contact. Questioning does not necessarily indicate that anyone is detained or arrested. Does that mean that you do not have to cooperate with the cops? In short, you have the right to remain silent, at least initially. There are pieces of information that are pertinent, and you should share with the questioning officer; however, you do not necessarily need to share any other information beyond those initial questions.

What Is Initially Required

Maintaining a polite demeanor throughout the experience often goes a long way toward helping your case. Being polite does not mean helping them build a case against you, however. If you are in a public place, the only information you are required to give is your name; which is only valid if the officer suspects you have committed or are committing a crime and they announce themselves as police personnel. Cops may also ask you to give your address and a reason for your behavior. You do not have to answer either of those questions legally.

Your Fifth Amendment Rights

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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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