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The Right to Remain Silent

We’ve all heard it on TV or in the movies. But what does “you have the right to remain silent” actually mean to you?

The right sprang from the United States Supreme Court case Miranda v Arizona. What that case tells us is that you must be told four things before you’re questioned in police custody. Let’s go over what I just said before we move to those four things. I mentioned both questioning and custody. That means an officer doesn’t have to issue Miranda warnings if he’s not going to question you – or if you’re not in custody. It’s important during your encounter with the police to determine if you’re being questioned and if you’re free to leave. Because those two things must happen for Miranda to be triggered.

The four things you must be told – 1. You have the right to remain silent. 2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. 3. You have the right to an attorney. And 4. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you.

It’s important to know what Miranda means to you and your case. And it’s very important that you remain silent.

Contact Dunham and Ingram LLC to talk to someone knowledgeable about your rights.