Have you heard television shows or movies mention Miranda rights before? Chances are, you have. This includes your right to remain silent, which is a common trope in many forms of media.
If you ever end up interrogated or interviewed by the police, you may wonder if you should use your Miranda rights. It is an important question to ask, after all.
What do Miranda rights protect?
According to Miranda Warning, your Miranda rights are important and you should utilize them if you can. This warning will alert you to the rights that are protected by invoking Miranda rights, including:
- The right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination
- The right to legal representation even if you cannot afford it
Police must get verbal agreement that you understand what you risk giving up by waiving your rights and choosing to speak to them.
Why you should not waive them
Generally, you should not waive your rights even if you are innocent of the crime in question. This is because anyone can self-incriminate even if they are not guilty. It is better to leave the talking to a legal representative who knows how to interact with the situation better than you do.
Officers may attempt to get you to feel like you should waive your rights, leaning heavily on the misconception that “only guilty people” refuse to give up their rights or talk to the police. Do not allow yourself to fall prey to this tactic.
Finally, remember to maintain your silence after invoking your Miranda rights. If you speak, what you say can still be used against you.