If you’re a fan of any criminal investigation-style television show, you’ve probably watched a police officer read their supposed perpetrator their Miranda Rights during their arrest. But what should you know about Miranda Rights in the real world? Is the process really the same as it is on television?
What Are Your Miranda Rights?
The Miranda warning or Miranda Rights come from a Supreme Court case result that determined the police must alert people in police custody to their Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination and their right to having an attorney at their defense. The specific rights outlined in the Miranda statement are:
- You have the right to remain silent
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law
- You have the right to an attorney
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you
In short, this means that you do not have to answer a police officer’s questions and you are entitled to having an attorney present to represent you.
How Does The Arrest Process Work?
Most television shows represent the police officers giving the Miranda warning right when they arrest someone. However, this is not the standard. By law, a police officer must read you your Miranda Rights before you are questioned, so it does not necessarily always happen right when you are taken into custody. You only need to hear it at some point before interrogation.
After you are arrested it may be in your best interests to remain silent until you have an attorney present to represent you. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you and help protect your rights.