Anyone who’s ever watched a procedural law enforcement or court drama can likely recite the Miranda rights statement. Every person who is facing arrest in the United States is protected by certain rights. These rights include the right to stay silent when questioned by law enforcement and the right to an attorney.
These rights are universal, which means that they apply to every person under arrest in the United States. It is common for a police officer to advise you of your Miranda rights at the time of your arrest. In other cases, law enforcement may not tell you them until you’re actually questioned.
It is important for arresting officers or those who question you when you’re in custody to advise you of your rights. It is equally important that they adhere to those rights in action as well. When you’re under arrest, one of the best things you can do is ask to speak with your attorney as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you through the process of questioning with law enforcement. Trying to answer questions on your own, even if you’ve done nothing illegal, could prove to be a huge mistake down the road.
Police should offer Miranda rights warnings before questioning
Movies and television shows always depict arresting officers rattling off the Miranda rights when they put their detainee in handcuffs. That’s not always how things play out in the real world. Just because you weren’t advised at the moment you were arrested about you Miranda rights doesn’t mean police violated your rights.
Law enforcement should inform you of both your right to refuse to answer their questions and your right to legal representation before any formal questioning. If you aren’t under arrest, law enforcement don’t have to provide your Miranda warning when speaking with you.
It’s important to remember that police only need to advise you of your rights once, no matter how long your detention or questioning process is. If you believe that law enforcement violated your rights when stopping, arresting or questioning you, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
A serious violation of your civil rights may change your legal situation substantially. Your attorney will be able to tell you, after hearing the details of your situation, if law enforcement violated your civil or Miranda rights.
An attorney’s advice matters after an arrest
When law enforcement arrests you for any reason, you want to speak with an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can help you avoid accidentally implicating yourself during the investigation. An attorney can also help ensure that you are legally complying with the investigation in every reasonable manner.
The best way to protect your rights is to assert them. If you believe your Miranda or other rights were violated, an attorney can advocate on your behalf to the courts about your situation.