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Your Miranda rights are important

In our previous blog post, we discussed a case in which a man's interrogation regarding a sex-related crime wasn't being allowed in his trial because the judge felt that there was a chance that he didn't understand his Miranda rights. That case showed that not only do the authorities have to recite these rights to you, but they must also ensure that you understand what they mean.

Your Miranda rights are very specific rights that you have during an interrogation or arrest. One of the rights that you have is to have an attorney present when you are being questioned. Another right is that you can remain silent because what you say could be used by the prosecutors in the case against you.

In order for you to legally speak with police officers without an attorney present, you have to waive your Miranda rights. This can be done by asking you to sign a waiver, but police officers sometimes rely on an implied waiver of these rights.

When the implied consent is considered to be given, your actions have to show that you are willingly waiving your rights. This can occur if the officers read you your rights and then you continue to speak to them about the incident. In this case, you would have waived your rights as long as you understand them.

In defense cases for serious crimes, such as rape or sexual assault, your statements to the police can have a big impact. If you wish to invoke your Miranda rights, make sure that you don't do anything that could be construed as an implied waiver of your rights. In other words, keep quiet until you have your attorney with you and make it known that you want those rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Waiving Miranda Rights," accessed Aug. 25, 2016

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