Know Your Rights

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you free of charge… “

Miranda Rights serve a two-fold purpose: one, to protect the rights of citizens against self-incrimination, and two, from the officer’s point-of-view, to sustain the admissibility of your statements in a court of law. Let’s take a look at what the Miranda Rights mean from a citizen’s point of view.

“You have the right to remain silent.”

Have you ever heard the term, “I plead the 5th”? The fifth amendment of the constitution guarantees three things: the right to a grand jury, forbids “double jeopardy” and protects against self-incrimination.

Part of your Miranda Rights is the right to remain silent. This means that you have the right to refuse to answer questions that could be self-incriminating without an attorney present. In the heat of the moment, as the cuffs are being placed around your wrists, it’s easy to want to plead your case with the officers. Don’t. Remember, “anything you say or do will be used against you in a court of law.”

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