A man is caught by police officers
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Criminal activity is a wide subject that includes violent altercations, property damage, white-collar offenses, and organized crime, as well as acts that are categorized as victimless or consensual. In most cases, authorities will attempt to determine who is at fault, charge them with the crime, and obtain either a conviction or a plea deal.

If you are somehow involved in a criminal incident, whether you’re the victim of a crime, the perpetrator, or even a bystander, you could become a suspect. The police are likely to speak with anyone involved, so you might not realize you’re a suspect, or you may become one during a discussion with authorities. These interactions with the police are where your Miranda Rights come into play. 

Understanding Your Miranda Rights

If you’ve watched your fair share of primetime cop dramas, you’ve probably heard the Miranda Warning before. It consists of the following statements and questions (though. for brevity, programs often omit the final questions):

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  3. You have the right to an attorney.
  4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
  5. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?

When do these rights apply? If you are involved in events where the police are present, you’re taken into custody, and you’re subjected to interrogation, you should invoke your Miranda Rights. It’s possible you’re being treated as a suspect, and under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, you have the right to protect against self-incrimination. Your Miranda Rights are part of that protection.

The Importance of Miranda Rights

Perhaps the most important thing to know is that Miranda Rights protect you whether you’re guilty of committing a crime.

Weighing guilt versus innocence isn’t always as clear-cut as you might imagine. When you’re in custody, you may be understandably confused, frightened, and emotional. That can cause you to say things you don’t mean or that aren’t entirely true, erroneously admitting guilt and generally incriminating yourself without meaning to.

Authorities might try to obtain confessions with a range of unfair tactics (lies, threats, false promises, coercion, isolation, etc.). Your best defense against self-incrimination is to remain silent and contact an attorney for legal guidance and support as soon as possible.

What Miranda Rights Mean in a Criminal Case

Sometimes, people get involved in crimes accidentally and without their knowledge. They might be acting under duress due to trickery, like fraud, or they may just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Citing these circumstances will do little to help you if you somehow incriminate yourself while being questioned by police. Therefore, to protect against self-incrimination, you need to not only know your Miranda Rights but follow them, as anything you say can and will be used against you.

Make the Most of Your Miranda Rights

No matter what the authorities say to try to get a confession out of you, it is always your right to remain silent. And even if you start answering questions, you can stop and request a lawyer at any time. 

Take full advantage of your rights by speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible. They will help you avoid mistakes and protect against unjust prosecution and conviction.

If you are involved in a criminal situation where you could be a suspect, turn to the qualified criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Mo Abusaft. We are available to help Spartanburg, SC, residents in need of legal advice and representation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.