Arrested? Were You Read Your Rights?
Many who have faced arrest often argue that they were not “read their rights” when they were in custody. These “rights” are called Miranda Rights. At the time you are placed under arrest, the officer must read you your Miranda rights, or right to remain silent, before questioning you. The failure of an officer to read you your Miranda rights might be a violation of the Constitution But it does not necessarily mean the case will be dismissed. Your statements might be excluded, or suppressed, but that doesn't automatically end the case.
“You Have the Right to Remain Silent…”
The Miranda Warning was created in the 1960s to protect every person's Fifth Amendment constitutional right to remain silent and not speak to the police if questioned after being arrested. Some individuals are intimidated by police authority and need to have their rights explained to them. The wording is clear and simple:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
An officer need only read you the Miranda Warning if he or she plans on using your answers as evidence at a trial. Therefore, in many instances you may be stopped and asked questions without being read those rights. You have the right to politely refuse, but the officer may then decide to arrest you for breaking the law in another area, such as loitering (which is a law that can be broadly interpreted so that police can use this as a reason for arrest if they suspect someone is involved in criminal activity).
What you Say Can and Will Be Used Against You
Any officer has the right to ask you questions; but you have the right to politely decline to answer. What you say to the police is important. What you say can be used against you and can give the police an excuse to arrest you especially if you badmouth a police officer. However, if the officer asks to see your driver's license or proof of insurance, you may not refuse to provide those because when you sign the forms for accepting a driver's license you are acknowledging that you will cooperate.
Your best response is, “I want to speak with my lawyer.”
When facing a situation where you're being questioned by the police you should have a criminal defense lawyer present. Doing so will ensure that you're able to fully exercise your rights in the face of a complex legal system. If you have been arrested in Ocean County and Monmouth County,, New Jersey, contact Villani & DeLuca P.C. today for your complimentary initial consultation at (732) 709-7757.