In the movies, police officers tend to start reciting a person’s Miranda Rights as they arrest them. While putting on the handcuffs, an officer will say that the person has a right to remain silent and that anything they say can be used against them in court.
In real life, though, this doesn’t always happen. When do police officers really need to tell you about your right to remain silent and other Fourth Amendment rights?
Are the police questioning you?
The source of the confusion is often the difference between arresting you and questioning you. You have a right to remain silent in the face of interrogation whenever you’re in police custody. You also may want to talk to your lawyer before saying anything to the police, to avoid making a key mistake.
If the police do not question you right away, they may be able to take you into custody without reading you these rights. They just have to do it before the interrogation begins.
The goal is to make sure that people who get arrested know that they’re not obligated to answer questions and that there are no legal ramifications if they choose not to. If you don’t want to answer, the police cannot give you a harsher sentence or assume that you’re guilty. You need to know what in advance so that you don’t make a mistake because you thought the police had more power than they actually do.
Exploring all of your legal rights
You have many legal rights in America. If you have any interactions with the police, it’s important to understand these rights and how they might impact your case. Working with an experienced defense attorney is the best way to make sure that your rights are protected.