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Understanding Miranda rights as part of a criminal defense

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2020 | Criminal Law

Floridians and people across the nation are likely familiar with the term “Miranda rights.” Since the right to remain silent has become an ingrained part of the culture, most people might think they have a firm grasp on what it means. However, there are fundamental aspects that should be understood as part of a legal case.

A person who is read his or her Miranda rights will be granted the right to remain silent and to have an attorney while interrogated. If the person does not invoke the right to remain silent, law enforcement can still conduct an interrogation whether the person responds or not. If the suspect is aware of these rights and speaks, these statements may be admissible as evidence.

Remaining silent and using body language indicative of remaining silent is not enough. To ensure clarity, the suspect is advised to specifically invoke the right to remain silent by saying, for example, “I wish to remain silent” or “I wish to speak with an attorney.” Saying anything can be used as part of the case with law enforcement and prosecutors capable of using the statement to bolster their position. The suspect is not required to wait until the Miranda rights have been read before invoking them and refusing to speak.

After the Miranda rights have been invoked, the police are legally required to cease all questioning. It is not limited to the arresting officer; any officer must adhere to the right to remain silent once it has been invoked. If an individual is not familiar with their rights, there can be confusion as to what statements are admissible and whether the suspect legally invoked the right to remain silent before being questioned. After an arrest, it is imperative to be fully protected under the law. An experienced criminal defense law firm may help ensure that a person’s rights are protected.