Saturday, September 1, 2012

THE MIRANDA RIGHTS

Remember the MAGIC WORDS:
"I am going to remain silent, I would like to see an attorney."
You should always invoke your rights whether or not you are dealing with a real law enforcement agent.

What are your MIRANDA rights?
• You have the right to remain silent
• Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law
• You have the right to an attorney
• If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you by the court.

The right to stay silent is also called the "privilege against self-incrimination."
It means that you cannot be forced to say or write anything that might be used to prove you are guilty of a crime.

The right to an attorney means that you are entitled to have a lawyer present to help you during police questioning, line-ups, hearings, etc.
Having your lawyer present during interrogation will help you use your  right to remain silent.
When a court appoints an attorney for you because you can not afford one, that lawyer is usually a public defender or panel attorney
If you invoke your right to remain silent or the right to an attorney, the police have to stop questioning you.

Law enforcement agents are only required to read you your rights if (1) you are under arrest AND (2) they want to ask you questions.
So if the officers have not arrested you yet, they can ask you questions without reading you your rights, and your statements will still be used against you in court.
For example, during a conversation or a detention, the police do not have to read you your rights. As you can guess, a smart cop may try to get all his questions answered before officially arresting the suspect.

Who must read the MIRANDA rights to a Suspect?
Both federal and state law enforcement agents have to read you your rights before they can question you in custody.
This included:
* The police and highway patrol officers
* Sheriffs
* U.S. Marshals FBI, DEA, ATF and other federal agents
* Park Rangers
* Probation and Parole officers

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