Watch enough television and movies and you will know about the Miranda rights. Every fictional police officer repeats them when taking a suspect into custody. Stemming from the 1966 landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, Miranda v. Arizona, many people can recite the warnings by heart.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do say may 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 by the court.”
“Do you understand your rights as they have been conveyed to you?”
Once the police take you into custody or for questioning, they must read you your rights as above. They are not allowed to continue questioning or hold you in custody without first warning you of your rights. There are no exact words needed, only the substance of the rights need be explained.
The Miranda rights are a protection under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. They are enforceable in all U.S. jurisdictions, including Will County, Illinois. The Miranda ruling is not absolute. There is a public safety exception.
The Miranda rights can be waived at any time by a suspect in custody. This may be accomplished by merely continuing to answer police questions. To be sure, most police departments will employ a written waiver. It is always best for a suspect to specifically state their intention to utilize their rights and not to waive them. According to recent case law, any ambiguity on the subject favors the police.
Put Them into Practice
When encountering the police, always remember your Miranda rights. They may be the difference in saving yourself from getting into more trouble. If you find yourself in police custody or under questioning, don’t do or say anything without first considering your constitutionally protected rights.
Make sure to invoke your Miranda rights. You don’t want to make a mistake and do something that may be considered a waiver of your rights. You don’t want to say something that may be later used against you.
Keep silent under questioning. Too many people make the mistake of trying to talk their way out of trouble. Your failure to speak may not be used against you in a court of law. In fact, as the Miranda rights state, the opposite is true. What you do say can be used against you in court.
Get Legal Help
Do not be afraid of looking guilty by requesting an attorney. It is the smart, not guilty, thing to do. Your attorney will be able to negotiate with the police regarding your release from custody and/or other matters.
Always remember your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. If in any way your civil rights were violated do not hesitate to contact the experienced Chicago civil rights attorneys of Barney and Hourihane at 312-854-0906 today for immediate assistance.