Miranda Rights 411

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I’m sure almost everybody has heard of your Miranda Rights. These are the rights you see on Law & Order, that “you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, and that you have a right to an attorney. While the TV shows are right that you have these, they are wrong about when you have them. You are only entitled to these rights when they are interviewing(interrogating) you for evidence to be used against you. These rights do not kick in until after formal charges have been filed against you. When they question you after you are arrested, they have tell you these rights. Once you ask for a lawyer, all questions MUST stop! The only way they can talk to you is if you knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive your rights. This means you must know what you are doing, be of sane mind, and doing it of your own free will.

There is one thing of caution. If you initiate a conversation with the police, you have given up your Miranda rights. So, if on the way to jail you confess without the police asking you any questions, the lawyers cannot help you. 

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