The Miranda rights have been featured in numerous shows, movies and other pieces of media over the year. If you have heard of your “right to remain silent”, you know at least a little about these rights.
But what do they fully entail? And how do you use them in the real world? More importantly, should you use them at all?
Should you use them?
The Miranda Warning discusses reliance on Miranda rights. Should you opt-in and utilize them? Or does relying on these rights make you look guiltier than refusing your rights would have?
Ultimately, it is almost always beneficial to utilize your Miranda rights rather than refusing them. While officers might attempt to sway you by hinting at the fact that this could paint you in a guilty light, this is not necessarily the truth.
Benefits to all parties under question
Miranda rights are beneficial to both innocent and guilty parties, as it protects you from the possibility of self-incrimination. Self-incrimination can occur if a guilty person speaks inappropriately, but it can also occur if an innocent person accidentally says or does something that piques a police officer’s suspicion.
It is better to tackle an interview with someone who knows what they are doing, which leads to the second main right that Miranda rights protect. This is your right to legal counsel. Even if you cannot afford an attorney, the state must provide you with one.
In having this legal counsel at hand, you can tackle a police interview with more confidence, knowing that you have significantly reduced your chances of saying or doing something that might paint you in an unfavorable light.