If you face police interrogation due to an alleged crime, you want to do everything in your power to protect yourself.
This is where your Miranda rights will often come in handy. But what exactly are they, and what do they protect?
Your right to remain silent
Miranda Warning discusses the importance of your Miranda rights. In police shows, they often leave discussion of Miranda rights to a simple quote: “you have the right to remain silent”. In reality, your Miranda rights protect much more than that.
Your right to remain silent essentially keeps you from self-incriminating during an interview with the police. It also prevents the police from essentially twisting your arm in an attempt to get more information out of you.
If you choose to utilize your Miranda rights, you need to actually remain silent, though. If you speak after invoking your rights, the police can still use what you say against you in a court of law.
Your right to legal counsel
The other major benefit that your Miranda rights provide is access to legal counsel. Even if you cannot afford an attorney, the state must provide you with one.
This allows you to navigate through conversations with law enforcement in a much easier way. Attorneys know how to interact with the police, and having this weight and stress taken from your shoulders can go a long way.
Innocent people accidentally self-incriminate all of the time. By invoking your Miranda rights and knowing how they work, you can avoid falling into that terrible – and often terrifying – situation.