Understanding Your Miranda Rights
If you have ever been arrested, or even just watched a television show about police, you have probably heard the Miranda Warning. The Miranda Warning, or Miranda Rights, is a notification given by police to individuals suspected of a crime. Anyone who is in police custody or a custodial interrogation must be advised of their right to silence among other rights. The main purpose of the Miranda Warning is to ensure the admissibility of statements made by criminal defendants during an interrogation in the eventual criminal proceedings. If a suspect is not read their Miranda Rights before being questioned, it is possible that the confession or statements made by the suspect can become unusable in court.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
Although the language used in a Miranda Warning can vary between jurisdictions, they all contain the same elements. Most people know that the beginning of the Miranda Warning begins with, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.” Most lawyers would advise anyone accused of a crime to take advantage of this right to silence. Police have methods of interrogation that can be misleading. Contrary to popular belief, police officers are allowed to lie to you. They may tell a defendant, for example, that another suspect has named him when in reality, no one has named them. Avoiding self-incriminating statements is critically important for any criminal defendant.
The Miranda Warning stems from the 1966 United States Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona. During the case, the Supreme Court stated that because of the Fifth Amendment self-incrimination clause, a defendant’s confession would be inadmissible in court unless he or she was made aware of his or her rights and had waived them.
You Have the Right to a Lawyer
The second part of the Miranda Warning includes, “You have the right to have an attorney with you during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” Having an attorney present during police questioning is fundamental to preserving your rights as a criminal defendant. Do not worry if you cannot afford one. Because it is a Constitutional right, you must be provided with legal counsel at your request even if you do not have the financial resources pay for it.
Contact a Will County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges, contact an experienced Joliet Illinois criminal defense lawyer from the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation at 815-740-4025 today.