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Why should you know your Miranda rights?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

When dealing with the possibility of a police interview or interrogation, it is also important to understand your Miranda rights.

Many people have passing familiarity with the concept thanks to popular culture and film, but not many understand what these rights actually protect or why it is important to know this.

What do your Miranda rights protect? discusses your Miranda rights and what they protect. These rights offer a couple of primary protections: your right to remain silent and your right to legal counsel.

The former is what most people have knowledge of, but what does your right to remain silent actually mean? In short, it means you do not have to speak to police without legal representation present. In other words, officers cannot force you to participate in an interrogation against your will.

Note that after you invoke your right to remain silent, you must actually remain silent. Anything you say can still get used against you in court.

As for your right to legal counsel, this acknowledges the fact that not everyone has the finances to hire their own attorney. If a person cannot do this, the state must provide them with an attorney who can handle discussions with police on their behalf.

Why is this important?

These are important protections because they keep you from accidentally incriminating yourself. Even if you are completely innocent of a crime, it is not impossible or even uncommon for an innocent party to say or do something that makes them look guilty.

Having these protections greatly reduces the chance of that happening and can protect you in the face of the police.