Monday, October 29, 2012

Know your rights (Miranda Warnings)

You have certain rights that you can exercise when you are in police custody.  These are typically referred to as the Miranda Warnings:  "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you.  You have the right to an attorney; if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you."

Exercise your right to remain silent.  Tell the police officers that you do not want to speak and are exercising your right to remain silent.  Know that if you voluntarily speak to the officers in the future, you may be waiving your right to remain silent. 

Exercise your right to an attorney.  Tell the police officers that you wish to consult with an attorney and have the attorney present during questioning.  If the police officers want to do a line up, tell the police officers you want to have your attorney present.  If they insist on doing a line up, cooperate and be polite but do not draw any attention to yourself. 

Keep in mind that you can exercise these rights at any time during the interview process.  It is important, that while being firm and exercising your rights, you are polite to each person you meet.  You should remain cooperative and noncombative while exercising those rights.  You can still, however, insist that you exercise your rights and remain firm in exercising your right.  Finally, do your best to remember each and everything that takes place, as these details may help your attorney with your case in the future.