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Anyone who has seen an action movie or crime drama can probably recite their Miranda Rights on command: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you," and so on. This just illustrates how integral Miranda Rights are to our nation's criminal justice system.

If you ever find yourself in a position where you are being arrested or accused of a crime, knowing your fundamental rights can make a big difference. By being familiar with the origins of your Miranda Rights and how they affect you in that instance you can avoid making mistakes that could cost you down the road in criminal proceedings.

The term "Miranda Rights" comes from the landmark Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona. This case has had a lasting effect on constitutional criminal rights. In the case, the Court declared that whenever a person is taken in police custody, he or she must be told of their Fifth Amendment right not to make any self-incriminating statements.

When making an arrest, law enforcement officials are required to tell suspects:

  • 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 appointed for you.

These rights are basic and inalienable but that does not mean they are always respected. Law enforcement officials may sometimes try to get around them by asking a criminal suspect for his or her side of the story. As long as no arrest is made, officers are not required to inform suspects of their Miranda rights.

If you have been charged with a crime it is best to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can help you ensure that your rights in the criminal justice system are protected so you can work towards the best possible outcome in your case.

Source: FindLaw, "'Miranda' Rights and the Fifth Amendment"

To learn more about criminal rights in Missouri, please visit our website.

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