When the police arrest you, they read you a set of rights called the Miranda warning. Have you ever wondered why they do this? The Miranda rights are a set of rules that the police must follow following an arrest. If you decide to invoke one of them, the police must stop pressing you. Find out more about these legal protections afforded under the law.
Miranda Rights Origins
Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Phoenix on suspicion of kidnapping. After hours of intense interrogation, he confessed to anything and everything the police accused him of doing. He was later found not guilty, and his case inspired the creation of the Miranda warning. The rights are simplistic, and yet an integral part of the American justice system.
The Miranda rights are predicated on your right not to be a witness against yourself, something granted by the Constitution. Miranda makes it clear that you have the legal right not to answer any questions, which may or may not implicate you in a crime. Thus, the first line of the warning gives you the right to remain silent and not answer any questions or make any statements. The reason for this is whatever utterances you make to the police can and will be used in the case against you. At trial, your confession or statements will become evidence in the case to convict you.
When you are arrested, the legal process can be pretty daunting. Whether it is your first arrest or your tenth, it can overwhelm you. Since you are probably not a legal expert, the Miranda warning gives you the right to have one represent you. You have the right to ask the police for an attorney at any time. Once you do ask for legal representation, the police must cease all attempts to question you. Without invoking this right, the police may continue to get you to talk, even if they have been unsuccessful. The legal system also provides those who are financially strapped with free representation. This ensures that even the poorest individual gets the chance to have a lawyer present evidence and defend them.
After the police read the Miranda warning, they ask you if you understand the rights you have. If you respond in the negative, they will reread them. However, if you do understand them, they will ask if you want to talk to them. This is the point where you get your first chance to invoke your right to silence and an attorney. After an arrest, a criminal defense attorney, like from the Morales Law Firm, has the expertise you need to give you an adequate defense against the charges.