You’ve probably seen it on television and in movies dozens of times, but you can’t always trust scriptwriters. As a result, you might not know what your right to remain silent really means.
Do you know what your Miranda Rights are and when to use them?
What are your Miranda Rights?
If you have not heard the speech in person before, it is similar to what you might hear in popular media. Some cities and states add clarifying lines or phrases. The following are your general rights:
- You have the right to remain silent to avoid making an incriminating statement
- You have the right to an attorney
- If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, one will be appointed for you
When should the police read you your Miranda Rights?
Contrary to popular belief, police do not have to read you your Miranda Rights whenever they talk to you. Instead, they could wait to do it until they are required to do so. They could wait to try to use other tactics to pressure you into speaking. However, they cannot arrest you for refusing to answer questions.
The only time police must read you your rights is after an arrest while you are in custody and before they want to interrogate you. However, the following questions are not considered interrogation:
- Relate to a danger to public safety
- Questions not related to a crime
Once they plan to start their interrogation, they will read you your rights. However, their judgement might not be in your best interest. Your best option might be to hire legal help if you believe anything you say could be used against you.