Miranda rights allow individuals to remain silent

If you have ever been arrested on suspicion of committing a crime, you know what a confusing time it can be. Police officers may be questioning you over the details of the event, trying to learn about your involvement. They may even pretend to be your friend, in the hopes that you will make their jobs easier.

However, despite what the police may tell you, anything that you say can and will be used against you to obtain a conviction. This is a common mistake that police count on. Many people arrested for DUIs, drug crimes, sexual assaults or any other criminal activity make things much more difficult by trying to talk their way out of trouble.

There are certain procedures that law enforcement officers must follow, and if they do not, certain evidence or information may be excluded if the matter goes to trial. When a person is in police custody or being interrogated by officers, the individual must be read his or her Miranda rights. These rights instruct an individual that they may remain silent, and may request to have an attorney present. If such a request is made, the interrogation must stop until the attorney arrives.

The Supreme Court consistently hears cases concerning Miranda rights issues. Many of these cases deal with the issue of waiver. If individuals are given Miranda warnings, and decide to talk anyway, it is possible that the information given to law enforcement could be used at trial. Courts have even allowed law enforcement to conduct later interrogations, after the suspect has stated his or her desire to remain silent, because the offender should have known that talking to police would end the protections offered by the Miranda rights.

If police approach an individual on a street and are asking questions, it is generally not considered police custody. Police may ask for identification, and in most cases, it is required that individuals comply with this request. If the police are asking more detailed questions about certain actions that may have occurred, the person may be best served by remaining silent.

Those who have never had any interactions with law enforcement may not know what to do if stopped by police. It is important to understand that you have rights, and police must respect your wishes to remain silent. Speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney before you discuss anything with the police. You need to protect yourself, because police will be trying to learn as much about the case as possible.

Each case is different, and the defenses that may be possible will depend upon what happened in your situation. Knowing what to do during this difficult time could allow you to build a strong defense against the accusations you are facing.