In New Jersey and elsewhere in the United States, those taken into police custody have certain rights that are referred to as “Miranda Rights.” Most people have heard of them, but what exactly do they do?
Back in 1966, the Supreme Court issued their ruling in the case of Miranda v. Arizona. From that point forward, police were required to tell anyone in their custody these four things prior to their making self-incriminating statements:
1. They have the right to remain silent.
2. Anything they say can and will be used against them in a court of law.
3. They have the right to an attorney.
4. If they cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them.
In some cases, a police officer will question a subject in their custody without Mirandizing them first. When this occurs, any information gleaned from statements or conversation from the suspect is considered to be made involuntarily. Those statements cannot then be used in court against them. Likewise, all evidence that is disclosed resulting from the alleged confession can also be tossed out as well.
When you get arrested or detained by police, it is quite natural to be nervous and afraid of the consequences. Unfortunately, many people chatter mindlessly when they are nervous. Don’t do that. Take your Miranda rights very seriously and remain silent. Ask to speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If the police ignore your requests, keep politely requesting to speak to a lawyer.
Remember that your criminal defense begins the moment you are arrested. Never say or do anything that will complicate or worsen the situation that you are facing.
Source: FIndLaw, ““Miranda” Rights and the Fifth Amendment,” accessed May. 01, 2015