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You have a right to remain silent

We hear this phrase all the time on the Television, however, most of us really do not understand its meaning. The US constitution guarantees this right under the Miranda Law.

The Miranda Rights prevents you from incriminating yourself if you confess to a crime at the time of your arrest or during interrogation by the police. The law does not require the police to read you your rights at the time of arrest (they only need "probable cause" to

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arrest), however, they are required by the Miranda law to do so prior to interrogation.

The Police has a tough time sorting out the crime unless somebody voluntarily informs them about the case. Most of us believe that explaining our side of a story can only help, but often an officer is only listening for key things that fit an offense he feels has been committed. That is why the "right to remain silent" is so important, and the phrase "what you say may be used against you" is all too true.

A person detained for possible driving under the influence says, "I only had two beers." What that means to a court is that the driver has admitted consuming alcohol, and that fact no longer has to be proven by the state.

The Miranda Rights

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to have an attorney present during any questioning.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, the state appoints one for you free of charge if you wish.
The Miranda Law does not protect you from being arrested. It protects only from incriminating yourself during questioning. The police only require a probable cause (an adequate reason and events to believe the person has committed a crime) to legally arrest a person.

Understand that a Police officer has a right to ask questions. Other than giving your identifying information, you have a right to politely decline discussion.
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