For most people, finishing the phrase: “You have the right to remain silent…” would probably be pretty easy. With all the movies, tv shows, and other forms of media that have circulated through the years, at least part of the Miranda Rights statement is considered common knowledge for practically anyone you run into.
The hard part though is having a clear understanding of what these rights actually mean, or the reasons why they exist in the first place. Knowing how your basic Miranda Rights can protect you in the event you are arrested can have a surprisingly large impact on the way these types of experiences evolve and even the official circumstances of your case.
At ABC Bail Bonds, our team is always looking for ways to help people in Texas who have been arrested or are dealing with court proceedings to make sure that they’re armed with the information and resources they need to safely navigate the justice system. Having a clear understanding of the way your Miranda Rights work during an arrest can go a long way towards shaping the outcome of any court case that may come up later.
The Origins of Your Miranda Rights
Named after Ernesto Miranda, the Miranda Rights are the result of a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court Case, Miranda vs. Arizona. At the time, he was arrested for stealing $8.00 from a person working at a bank in the state of Arizona. After two hours of questioning, he not only admitted to the theft, but also to additional charges of kidnapping and rape.
No one had taken the time to advise Miranda that he could have kept silent, or that he had the choice to speak with a lawyer. He had been pressured into admitting to the crimes and was found guilty as a consequence. In the end, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that the confessions made by Miranda during questioning couldn’t be submitted as evidence because he had not been informed of his own rights under the Constitution.
Since that time, police have been required to recite the Miranda Rights to defendants before any questioning can begin. Rather than adding additional rights to suspects who are being arrested, the ruling established the need to protect the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of individuals.
What Do the Words Mean?
Ultimately, the words recited during the Miranda Rights are a means of informing individuals that they are well within their rights to not answer any questions until a lawyer is present to represent them. At the core, this measure is in place to protect people against aggressive interrogation techniques that could put them in a position of admitting to things they are not guilty of as a way of avoiding further intimidation.
If you choose not to stay silent though, then it is important to be completely aware that anything you say can be used as part of a case against you. If you choose to talk to the arresting officers, or to a detective who sits down with you once you’ve been arrested, then you should be cautious about what you say, how you act, and most importantly, which questions you choose to respond to.
Also, the Miranda Warning is in place to advise you, as a person being arrested, that you have a legal right to representation. If you have the resources available to retain the service of a private attorney, you can contact them once you’ve been arrested, otherwise, a public defender will be appointed to your case. In either situation though, it is better to wait for your representation to be present before doing or saying anything that could compromise your position as a defendant, no matter how much you may be getting pressured to speak.
Work with a Bail Bond Company to Secure Release Quickly
Building a legal defense for yourself from behind bars is an incredibly difficult task. If you have been arrested, then the best thing to do is secure your release quickly using a professional bail bond agency like our team here ABC Bail Bonds so that you can reach out to an attorney and start building your defense. In jail, your access to phones, the internet, or even people you know are all limited severely, and taking action is practically impossible beyond making a phone call or two when you’re allowed. Instead, take advantage of a bail bond to get released quickly so you can get back to living your life and take care of your defense effectively!