Miranda Rights... the Myths and the Facts
Sometimes a simple slip of the tongue can be misconstrued and twisted … more importantly, that simple statement that was twisted could come back to haunt you in court!
What are Miranda rights and where do they come from?The Miranda warning ("Miranda rights") come from the United States Supreme Court's Miranda v. Arizona decision. The Miranda warning requires that police officers inform you of certain rights AFTER your arrest but BEFORE questioning you.
What are these rights?You have the right to remain silent (use it!) If you say anything, it CAN be used against you in a court of law You have the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court will appoint one for you
I just got arrested and I wasn't read my rights! Will my case get dismissed?It is a very common myth that police officers have to read the Miranda rights to someone before arresting them. If you are subject to a custodial interrogation, meaning you are not free to leave. This could take place if you are in hand cuffs on the street, in the back of a squad car or anywhere you can't leave. There are times that the police will have enough to charge you but want your statement so instead of coming to your house and arresting you, they will ask you to come down to the police department to speak with them. They will put you in an interview room and be very pleasant to you. They will thank you for coming in, offer you a drink, maybe some coffee and tell you that you're not under arrest and are free to leave at anytime. Then after you spill your guts to them they will charge you and use your statement against you because it was a NON-custodial interrogation. Remember, non-custodian interrogation is when you ARE free to leave and not being detained.
How do I properly invoke my rights? What's the magic words?Good news! It's easy! Just say, "I DON'T WANT TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS. I WANT AN ATTORNEY." (Then promptly call The Law Office of Gregory C. Goline!) Those are the magic 11 words that law enforcement need to hear. It won't get you out of trouble instantaneously, but it is the only tool at your disposal to protect yourself and keep police from collecting any more evidence from you. Those magic words also protect you from yourself! Sometimes a simple slip of the tongue can be misconstrued and twisted ... more importantly, that simple statement that was twisted could come back to haunt you in court!