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Being placed under arrest may seem like the last thing you ever thought would or could happen. The implications for your life may be catastrophic.

Law enforcement agencies have rules they must abide by when arresting you. Before you resign yourself to being arrested, you should understand the implications of procedural errors in a police investigation. One of the most significant violations that may help set you free is failing to recite the Miranda warning. Get a firm grasp on exactly what this passage means for your criminal record.

Constitutional Rights

Those who authored the Constitution did so after enduring unfair treatment and hardship in their homeland. Under British rule, citizens were often forced to give up land, money and property if those in power wanted them. People falsely accused of crimes were not given any latitude to prove their innocence and were instead punished as guilty without incident. When those same people came to America, they vowed that things would be different and that citizens would not be forced to submit to the whims of those in authority. Thus, the constitutional rights that go along with an arrest were born.

A Brief History of Miranda

The concept for the Miranda rights was the result of a Supreme Court case that ruled against Arizona police for forcing a suspect into confessing things he did not do. Ernesto Miranda was arrested for stealing $8.00, and hours later, he admitted to far more extreme crimes of assault and kidnapping. The conditions he was subjected to worked against him, and he felt like he had no choice. The Miranda rights became a federal law after this case, and all law enforcement agencies must not only recite them to those being detained, but they must abide by them if a suspect invokes them.

Miranda Rights 

Miranda allows you to:

  • Remain silent against police questioning. Once the police indicate that they are detaining you, this provision allows you to stop answering their questions without fear of reprisal. The reason for this is that anything you say can be placed on the record and used in court against you.
  • Ask for an attorney’s help. At any point after detainment, you may ask for a legal representative to help your defense. Once you ask for this, the police can no longer attempt to question you.
  • Provide an attorney for a nominal fee. You have the right to an attorney, but what if you cannot afford one? Miranda allows you to request the court appoint a lawyer to represent you in criminal matters.

The basic provisions of Miranda are critical to the American justice system. A criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, CA can provide more in-depth information.

Thanks to the Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and what your Miranda Rights mean.

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