Palacios Law Group is always trying to keep individuals aware of their rights, especially for immigrants.
You’ve seen so many moments on television where a cop puts cuffs on an individual and reads them their rights. When reading these rights, the cop will start off by saying “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
This sentence means that you have the right to consult with a lawyer. Your lawyer can be present during questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you free of cost. If you decide to answer the police’s questioning, you also have the right to stop the interview at any time. It’s important to have an understanding of your rights so that you can keep yourself protected and make sure you are not taken advantage of.
The police officer must provide Miranda warnings whenever they interrogate someone who is in custody. Interrogation is not only questioning, but it is also any words or actions that police officers should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response. When the police question a suspect, they will let this person know that they are not under arrest and are free to leave at any time. They do this so that they do not have to provide this individual with Miranda warnings.
According to NOLO, “The only way to prevent the government from introducing evidence at trial of the suspect’s silence is to explicitly invoke the right to say nothing.” This basically means that if you are planning to remain silent, you must state so. According to the article, the Miranda warnings were never read to someone who was being questioned. They answered the police’s questions, but when the police asked a very particular question, the individual in question fidgeted and remained silent. The court proclaimed that this reaction was evidence that the individual might have been involved in the crime.
Whenever an individual is facing questioning, they should always state that they are invoking their 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. This will protect them during the trial.
According to NOLO, “The U.S. Supreme Court has the final say on the meaning of the federal Constitution, but state courts can interpret their own constitutions to provide greater individual freedom.” The law may vary from state-to-state, but it is very important to be aware of ways that you can protect yourself!
Contact Palacios Law Group if you have any questions.