Know Your Rights! Advice From a Criminal Defense Attorney

What You Should Know About Your Rights, How to Protect Yourself at the Time of an Arrest and How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You

A criminal defense attorney is very important when it comes to protecting yourself after being charged with a crime. However, one of the best ways to protect yourself in encounters with law enforcement is to know your rights. That is why we have put together a brief overview with the intention to help the general public understand how to recognize and practice your rights.

If you or a loved one has already been charged with a crime, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel and hire a criminal defense attorney. The team of criminal defense lawyers at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP at our Worcester office are experienced and ready to provide you aggressive legal representation. Call us today at (508) 570-3037 for a free consultation, or contact us online.

What Are Your Rights?

When law enforcement arrests anyone, under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, they are required to read the individual arrested their “Miranda Rights.” According to FindLaw, the term Miranda Rights comes from the U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda vs. Arizona (1966).

The Fifth Amendment states:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury… nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

After the Miranda Case, it was ruled that law enforcement must read the rights of the arrestee aloud. This is known as the Miranda Rights or the Miranda Warning. They are as follows:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  3. You have the right to an attorney.
  4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

These words, for the general public, ring familiar. However, why and how these rights and the issuing of the Miranda Warning is so important, is not quite internalized. Criminal defense attorneys know that so much rides on law enforcement complying not only with reading your rights, but also upholding the Fifth Amendment itself.

When Do You Hear Your Rights Read?

Criminal defense attorneys want you to know that law enforcement may not actually read you your rights until right before interrogation. Law enforcement is not legally required to read your rights while you are being arrested or while waiting in custody.

How Knowing Your Rights Helps You and Your Criminal Defense Attorney

The Fifth Amendment Miranda Rights essentially protect you from incriminating yourself. Failure to read the Miranda Warning makes any confession or information told to the police is inadmissible in court and considered coerced. Additionally, if any evidence was retrieved as a result of information told at this time, your criminal defense attorney will be able to argue that it is illegal and also inadmissible.

Importantly, once your rights have been read, it’s so crucial to know that you are absolutely allowed to uphold them. Interrogators will often goad and bait alleged perpetrators into speaking. However, you have the absolute right to remain salient, and criminal defense lawyers emphatically suggest that you do so.

Know your rights and stay protected. If you have been arrested and are in the Worcester area, contact Murphy & Rudolf, LLP at (508) 570-3037. Our team of aggressive and trial-ready criminal defense attorneys is ready to help you.
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