On June 13, 1966, the Miranda Rights were established as a result of the arrest and trial of Ernesto Miranda in 1963. Miranda was arrested under the suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman in Phoenix. After the arrest, officers may have coerced a confession out of Miranda while interrogating him. This confession was used as evidence, but Miranda was not aware of his right to remain silent. After Ernesto was convicted of the crime and sent to jail as a result of his “confession”, the American Civil Liberties Union took up his appeal. The ACLU claimed that the confession was false and coerced. The Supreme Court eventually overturned his conviction, and made the reading of Miranda Rights a requirement during any arrest in the country.
There are 5 parts to the Miranda Rights
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will 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 appointed for you.
- Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?
These rights can only help you and not hurt you in the event that you are arrested. Regardless of how sure you are in your innocence, remaining silent is your best course of action. In fact, even if you do say something that demonstrates your innocence, you are still going to have an arrest record, although not necessarily a conviction. Even if you know that you are being wrongfully arrested, it will be much easier to fight the charges in court if you do not lock yourself into a statement and limit your available defenses.
Remember that the rights themselves state that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. They say nothing about being used in your favor. Police are well-trained in psychological techniques that will eventually break down even truly innocent suspects and get them to inculpate themselves. Even if you are threatened with jail or a high bail if you do not “cooperate” by giving a statement, you are better off spending some hours or even days locked up, then you would be by making a statement that will land you in prison for years or even decades. Note that police are required to give you phone calls and several hours to arrange for bail to be posted before you are checked into the county jail.
It is also important to keep in mind that neither a judge or jury will ever take a dim view of your post-arrest silence. The law requires that they draw no negative inference from the fact that you exercised your right to remain silent. If you keep your mouth shut, the judge and jury will never know that you refused to speak with the police.
Call An Experienced, Monmouth and Ocean County Criminal Attorney
If you are arrested, say nothing aside from politely asking any officer that tries to speak with you for a lawyer. Then, call Fred Sisto at 732-898-3232. Anything helpful that you want to tell the police should be communicated through a seasoned trial attorney. Under our evidence rules, nothing that your attorney communicates can be used against you.