Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney

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What should you know about your rights when interacting with police officers?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Interacting with police officers when they’re conducting an interrogation can be stressful. This is one time when a person must ensure that they understand their rights so they can take steps to uphold them.

If/when you’re in this position, police officers should read your Miranda rights to you. Once they do this, you must clearly invoke them so you can benefit from all the protection that they provide.

What rights are covered by the Miranda rights?

Miranda rights include several key components in the Miranda rights. Together, they all focus on stopping a person from feeling as though they have to incriminate themselves. The key components of the Miranda rights include:

  • The right to remain silent since anything said can be used in court.
  • The right to speak to an attorney before speaking to police officers.
  • The right to assistance affording an attorney if the defendant can’t afford one.

These rights are designed to prevent coercion by police officers. They work to ensure that any confession or statements made during custody are truly voluntary.

How can a person invoke their Miranda rights?

Invoking Miranda rights is straightforward but must be done clearly. To effectively assert these rights, an individual should clearly state that they wish to remain silent or that they want to speak to an attorney. This statement should be made concisely to ensure that law enforcement officers understand the individual’s intention to utilize these protections. Some examples include:

  • I want to speak to my attorney before I speak.
  • I don’t want to make any statements or answer any questions.
  • I choose to invoke my Miranda rights.

After these rights are invoked, police officers must stop all questioning until an attorney is present, or until the individual voluntarily reinitiates conversation. Officers can’t try to convince the person to speak. They also can’t call in new officers to resume questioning.

What happens if these rights are infringed upon?

When a person’s Miranda rights aren’t upheld, that information can become a critical influence in the way in which their legal team construct’s their defense strategy. For example, a legal representative may be able to have evidence suppressed if it was collected through statements after a rights violation.