When you are pulled over or arrested by the police, part of the process is questioning. The police are going to ask you questions related to their suspicions about you. The goal of this questioning is to gather the information that can be used against you if you end up facing some kind of charge.
However, you have rights in this situation. Knowing what your rights are will help you protect yourself from serious penalties and consequences.
Understanding your rights
Everyone is protected by the 5th Amendment. You have likely heard of Miranda Rights in the past and knowing what they mean is imperative to protect yourself.
The Miranda Warning reminds defendants in criminal cases that:
- You don’t have to say anything (you have the right to remain silent)
- The police can use anything you say against you if your case goes to court
- The prosecution cannot use your choice to remain silent against you
- You have the right to legal representation during questioning
- If you can’t afford a private attorney, the state will assign one to your case
If the police fail to read your Miranda Rights before a custodial interrogation, this is information that can be used to throw out anything you say to the police during questioning. (Keep in mind that these rights don’t have to be read to you when you are detained or arrested.)
Knowing and protecting your rights
The fact is, people are charged with crimes, detained by the police and arrested every day. To be safe, it’s best to know your rights. Knowing your rights will help you protect them and ensure you don’t say something that may be used against you in the future. It is also best to utilize professional legal assistance if you are charged with a crime to ensure that you are treated fairly and to help you build a strong defense for your situation.