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Know Your Rights

If you are ever arrested, it is important to know what you can and cannot do, as well as who you can see and what an officer may ask of you. Your rights are important and invoking them could be the difference between a conviction and you being found not guilty of a crime.

These rights were instituted by court decision, and are often referred to as your Miranda rights. These are the rights that are read to you when you are in police custody and are subject to police interrogation. The Miranda rights typically read as such: “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 shall be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”

It is important to note that not every police detention is a custodial interrogation. The specific time in which the Miranda warnings should be given varies based on the interaction between the suspect and the officer and often can be argued a variety of different ways.

The Right to Remain Silent

When you are taken into custody the police will attempt to interrogate you by asking you questions about what they believe you did. In general, this is to try to gain information about the case they are investigating if they believe you are tied to it in one way or another. You do not have to answer the questions they ask you. If you invoke your right to remain silent an officer cannot continue to question you; they must stop for a period of time. However, even if you invoke your right to remain silent, you may still waive that right if you wish to speak to an officer. You should remember that you may invoke the right to remain silent whenever you wish.

Anything You Say Can and Will be Used Against You.

If you choose to not remain silent then you can expect your interrogation to be recorded and presented at trial. This may not seem like such a bad outcome but often we say things we regret, especially in an emotional situation such as an interrogation. What may seem innocent to say at the time may turn out to have a double meaning and the officers may take advantage of that. If you seem angry or upset a jury may read into that as well. You must be conscious of this if you are ever interrogated because it could be the difference between being found guilty or not guilty of the crime you are charged with.

When faced with an arrest it is important to have an attorney on your side who knows the law and who knows how to argue your side of the case. At Simms Showers in Leesburg we know how to argue for you and we will fight for your best interests. Our attorneys have wide experience in dealing with and arguing before the courts.

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