The United States Constitution sets standards for the rights of people who are in this country. The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights. One of these amendments, the Fifth Amendment, has been the subject of lawsuits based on determining whether a person’s rights have been upheld or violated.
Many people are familiar with the Fifth Amendment because of true crime shows and movies. Nearly everyone has heard police officers tell a person they have the right to remain silent. This is the start of what’s known as the Miranda rights, which are named from a court case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
What’s included in your Miranda rights?
Police officers must read a person their Miranda rights before interrogating someone in police custody. Everyone has the right to remain silent because any statements can be used in the prosecution’s case against them. They also have the right to have an attorney there when they’re questioned. If someone can’t afford legal representation, they may qualify to have an attorney appointed.
Once you’re read your Miranda rights, you need to clearly invoke them. You must tell the officers something like, “I choose to remain silent” or “I invoke my Miranda rights.” After you do this, police officers can’t continue questioning you. This includes the officers who are there when you invoke your rights and all others, so they can’t call in a new person to start questioning you again.
Violations of your rights can impact how you handle your defense strategy. Discuss everything that happened with your interaction with law enforcement so you can determine your options. Ideally, you’ll start working on your defense strategy right away so you don’t have to try to make rushed decisions.