Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

What you say before your Miranda rights are read may incriminate you

You may have grown up in Louisiana watching cop shows on television like most kids did. In nearly every episode, you likely heard a police officer reading a criminal suspect his or her Miranda rights. Loud background music probably played to give the show a climactic ending. Watching police charge someone with a crime in a fictitious story on TV is one thing; when it's real life and the police officer is talking to you, it's quite another.

Here are some important things to know about your Miranda rights in the event that a police officer detains and arrests you.

The Fifth Amendment provides you with the right to remain silent.

When police suspect you of a crime or believe you have aided someone else in committing one, it is important to remember the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This Amendment protects you from self-incrimination.

  • The Fifth Amendment protects your right to remain silent during a police interrogation, and this right should be stated in the Miranda warning.
  • When you verbally invoke your right to remain silent, police are supposed to stop questioning you.
  • You can invoke your right to remain silent before or during questioning.
  • You have a right to have an attorney present, and when you invoke this right, the interrogation must stop at least until the attorney arrives.
  • It's crucial to remember that police do not have to read you your Miranda rights unless and until they have taken you into custody or have made it clear to you that they are conducting an official interrogation. This is important because it means anything you say before an officer reads your Miranda rights to you may be used against you in court.

Did police violate your Miranda rights?

If you believe police have violated your rights in some way before, during or after an arrest, it may be possible to have the charge dismissed. In any case, be sure to put an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

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