Do You Know Your Miranda Rights

We’ve all seen on the numerous cop shows on television where the police officers nab a suspect, handcuffs them, and then read them their “rights.” That reading of certain constitutional rights to criminal suspects by a police officer after an arrest is known as the Miranda warning, named after the 1966 United States Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. The Miranda warning is intended to inform a suspect of and protect their Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer self-incriminating questions as well as their Sixth Amendment right to counsel in a criminal case.

The Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution guarantees certain rights to adult citizens and non-citizens who are arrested. After an arrest, but before a law enforcement officer questions you, he or she should tell you:

You have the right to remain silent.

Anything you say may and can be used against you.

You have a right to have an attorney present while you are questioned.

If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.

Pursuant to your constitutional rights, you do not have to provide an alibi, make an excuse, or make any statements at all. You do not have to answer any questions except to give your name, address, and show some identification. Do not provide false information, identification or documents. Providing false information to a police officer is a crime in and of itself. You can and should to speak with an attorney prior to any questions by a police officer. If you choose to waive your rights and answer questions, any of those statements can be used against you in court.