A short paragraph could be the difference between freedom and incarceration. While there is growing speculation that accused persons should not have rights, the Constitution protects those rights for all. There is no shortage of terrible police brutality stories, even stories of retaliation against police who serve warrants for weapons offenses.
Part of every law official’s oath consists of a promise to comport themselves with equanimity in all manners of civil service and due process, though this does not always happen.
Miranda rights enforce due process. Let us learn about them and their vital contribution to American jurisprudence.
To the innocent person, being accused of a crime is already bothersome. Having police detain you for these accusations makes lives even worse. If those accusing you of a crime are unsure if you have committed the crime, they will be looking for any opportunity for you to self-incriminate. Once you have spilled the beans, admitting statements to court absent the truth may be just enough to get an innocent person convicted.
Knowing that the Constitution allows you to maintain silence during the process of being arrested and questioned helped propel the United States vs Miranda law into action. Many law enforcement officials follow protocol and allow individuals to know their rights, while many others do not for reasons nobody can pinpoint other than negligence.
Individuals accused of crimes often do not know they have options, whether they are guilty or innocent. For example, many do not realize that an attorney can be present immediately at the police station when they are being questioned. Others do not know every word spoken in the squad car, interrogation room, or even walking between the two can be used against them. Moreover, some do not even know the power of silence.
Miranda rights clearly outline the rights to which arrested individuals are entitled. They serve as a backbone to the judicial process, offering everyone equal opportunity to fair representation and treatment during due process. Individuals knowing their options keeps the scales of justice fairly even.
Court cases have been thrown out because one’s Miranda rights were never read; even civil suits have arisen because people felt their civil rights were violated or their arrest was unconstitutional. Reading your rights to you is an important part of a police officer’s job because it establishes fairness whether persons are under arrest or detained for questioning. Besides, until state and federal laws change, it is illegal to not inform individuals of their legal rights.
Accused or detained people – even in white collar crimes – should take note that if they have been placed under arrest or are being questioned without full disclosure of their Miranda rights.
First, never resist a public service officer who is authorized to detain you. Never retaliate against those policemen and women by use of violence. As attorneys, we respect the men and women who put their lives on the line each day to protect those who can not fend for themselves; our job is simply to fairly represent the accused according to the Constitution and common laws of the United States.
That said, it is important to take mental notes of the entire questioning and/or arrest process. Get a sense for what the officers are trying to accomplish, how they are treating you, and what they have disclosed as your rights under Constitutional law. While it is ‘he said, she said’ should an officer say anything detrimental or abuse you in any manner according to the courts, criminal defense attorneys are adequately equipped with the knowledge necessary to prove certain actions took place that tainted the judicial process.
Do not be afraid to ask questions, such as what specifically you are being questioned or detained for, what specific rights you have, if loved ones or friends can be present during questioning – essentially, ask anything you feel will render answers. Should an officer fail to respond, he or she is not wrong – remember, the law only states that officers need to inform you of your Miranda rights and not answer questions outside of those rights.
Put simply, attorneys can work diligently to get either cases or confessions dismissed from court should your Miranda rights not get conveyed to you during arrest, or before questioning commences. While many attorneys will not promise their services or case outcomes, sufficient grounds for dismissal exist when due process has been tainted.
To discuss your rights, potential range of penalties and protection of your due process privileges, contact Van Den Heuvel Law Office immediately when you have been charged; if you have been arrested and are yet to make bail, direct your family to contact our firm which can expedite your due process through court.
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