Miranda rights are often featured in media, especially shows that focus on police activity and conduct. However, not many people know how they work in real life.
What are a person’s Miranda rights? How do they work? And why should they be invoked?
Protections under Miranda rights
Miranda Warning discusses the purpose of a person’s Miranda rights. In essence, they provide two essential protections. The first is protection of a person’s right to remain silent, i.e. they cannot be forced to discuss things with police. This helps a person avoid self-incriminating.
The second is the protection of a person’s right to legal representation whether or not they can afford it out of pocket. If a person does not have the money to afford an attorney, then the state will provide them with one.
The officer must make sure that the person they want to interrogate fully understands their Miranda rights, too. They need to get a verbal agreement that the person is either using their rights or deciding to waive them.
Do not sacrifice your rights
Some people mistakenly believe that only guilty people use the right to remain silent, so they will waive their rights to speak to police. However, anyone can end up self-incriminating even if they are innocent of the crime they are being accused of.
Generally speaking, it is a wise decision to invoke Miranda rights and then remain silent until legal representation is present. This can help keep a person from saying or doing anything that could get used against them in court.