Everything You Need to Know About Your Miranda Rights
A Right to Remember
The media paints an often-incomplete portrait of the criminal justice system. It frequently depicts the stereotypical arrest that begins with a uniformed officer stating, “You have a right to remain silent”. Most people are aware of this constitutionally protected right but know little about it other than what they’ve seen on TV and in the movies. In reality, your right to remain silent is included in your Miranda Rights, some of the most important rights an American—or a Texan—has. It is these rights that police officers will sometimes recite to a person they are placing under arrest. Knowing and using these rights correctly can be your smoking gun when you run into trouble, so here is what you should know about your Miranda Rights.
Your Miranda Rights
Miranda Rights are addressed in the Fifth Amendment. Your Miranda Rights read together as the Miranda Warning, include:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law.
- You have a right to an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
They are powerful yet surprisingly simple. What’s more surprising is some people inadvertently waive these rights due to lack of understanding. We certainly don’t want that to happen to you. But knowing your rights isn’t enough. You also need to know when you can use them. These rights become “active” once you have been arrested***. The police must read you these rights if they arrest you and plan on interrogating (questioning) you. Theoretically, you could be arrested and never read your rights. Or, you may be arrested and read your rights but never questioned. Unfortunately, police don’t always read the Miranda Warning when they should, so take it upon yourself to exercise your rights when it counts.
Be Smart About Your Rights
As a general rule, answering questions the police ask you is a bad idea. We do not recommend you try to explain anything to the police. If the police arrest you, whatever you say can be held against you in court. In fact, the only thing you should say is that you assert your 5th Amendment right and that you’d like to call an attorney.
If you’ve been arrested and are facing potential criminal charges, call a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney can review your rights with you and advise you on how to best proceed forward with your case. Whenever faced with law enforcement, it’s best to let your attorney do the talking for you.
If you’ve been arrested for a DWI in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email email@example.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.