You've Been Miranda Warned
If you've watched any television at all you've probably seen someone being read their Miranda Rights or being "Mirandized". The words "you have the right to remain silent" are well-known to most, but once you've encountered those words in real life it changes things. The Miranda warning is important; it's meant to warn suspects that they do not need to compromise their legal protections by speaking to law enforcement without legal counsel. Unfortunately, some situations where someone is arrested, detained or "under questioning" can result in uncertainty when it comes to what your rights to not self-incriminate really are. Read on to learn more and know how to deal when it happens to you.
We owe it to the Fifth
Our elegant and rich Constitution provided guideposts on many different areas of the law, and one of the most complete and far-reaching was undoubtedly the Fifth Amendment. This one Amendment gave protection to those who are accused of crimes dealing with everything from attorney-client privilege to the right not to self-incriminate. While the Miranda warning is all well and good, your actual protection comes by way of the Fifth Amendment whether the warning words were read to you or not.
When you get arrested and are questioned by the police, anything you say could end haunting you later on. Your words and actions are recorded and how you act and what you say may influence the jury, one way or another. This critical time period, therefore, is protected. You would do well to take advantage of your rights and call for legal help before you do something that you may later regret.
Have you actually been arrested?
Law enforcement personnel may not intentionally take actions that are meant to place suspects in jeopardy of giving up their rights, but when they question suspects without arresting them they may be doing just that. There is no need to give the warning to those who aren't under arrest, but those people are just as likely to say something that could self-incriminate. Your best course of action is to go ahead and ask for legal counsel while you are being questioned, even if they say you are not under arrest.
Being involved in a criminal matter is no joke and having professional legal help is vital. Whether you have been arrested or just taken in for questioning, speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately to ensure that your rights are not trampled.