Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled on a landmark case about your rights during police interrogations. The case is known as Miranda v. Arizona, or simply Miranda. In that case, the Supreme Court sought to protect the rights of the accused when facing police questioning. In particular, it set out rules to allow individuals to request attorneys and to preserve their Constitutional right to remain silent.
Often in cases of violent crime, the police begin their investigations trying to talk to people who are suspected of committing the crime. In these situations, it is important to protect yourself by understanding your Miranda rights and insisting on having a lawyer.
Your Request for an Attorney Cannot Be Used Against You
Though you may believe that requesting a lawyer will make you look guilty, it is quite the opposite. Your request to have a lawyer cannot be used against you in a court of law. Your right to a lawyer is a protected Constitutional right. Thus, when you request a lawyer, the request can only be used to end questioning until you have a lawyer present who can protect you and help you preserve your innocence.
Second, if you make a statement to the police, that statement can be used against you in ways that you never intended. For example, the police may put words into your mouth while interrogating you or make you afraid. The police may lie to you to coerce a confession. All of these types of things can put you in a situation where attempts to tell the truth in the future will be believed to a lesser degree because of the prior statement. In other words, the prior statement will be used to question your believability and the truth of your statements.
Third, by requesting an attorney, you will put yourself in a better position because you will be able to rely on your attorney to handle the important parts of your defense. Rather than letting the police manipulate you, your attorney will be able to present the truth in the best possible light for you by highlighting the facts that support your innocence.
Many individuals unwittingly waive their Miranda rights. They may waive their rights because they feel pressure from the police or because they want to tell their side of the story. Regardless of the reason, these people put themselves at a disadvantage.
The landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona was designed to help protect you. It is a Judicial landmark that insisted that you should know your Constitutional rights before answering police questions.
Contact Lotze Mosely Defense Attorneys
If you believe that you may be questioned by the police regarding a violent crime, your first line of defense is a Washington, D.C. criminal defense attorney. Our attorneys are available to speak with you about your case and to help defend you. We can be contacted today at (202) 393-0535.