Most Americans agree that the Miranda warning is a simple yet valuable concept that can protect them from aggressive interrogation techniques. However, many people arrested or questioned in connection with violent crimes do not exercise their Miranda rights effectively.
As defense attorneys, we would like to make sure everyone in Franklin, Massachusetts, knows how to use the Miranda warning. When facing allegations that you participated in violent crimes, these rights might save you from a wrongful arrest or a wrongful conviction. The Miranda warning's purpose is to ensure that you understand two fundamental rights set forth in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. These are:
- The right not to say anything that will incriminate you, which is also known as the right to remain silent.
- The right to defend yourself, which is also known as the right to have a lawyer present during talks with police.
However, that is not all you need to know about your Miranda rights. If you learned about these rights by watching films or detective shows, then you probably have not heard the entire warning. According to FindLaw, two elements of the Miranda warning that most people do not know include the following.
- You can use your right to remain silent at any time. If you invoke this right, the authorities must stop questioning you immediately.
- You can exercise your right to legal counsel at any time. If you invoke this right, the questioning must stop until your lawyer is present.
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend not saying anything at all when being questioned about violent crimes. Identifying yourself and asking for a lawyer should be your only contribution to discussions with the authorities. Continue reading our criminal defense web pages if you need additional information about building a solid defense.