“You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.” We have all heard these words at one point or another. Whether it be in a tv show or in real life, the Miranda Rights are probably the most well-known words when it comes to law. However, even while most people can probably recite Miranda Rights by memory, many do not actually know what these words mean. To help with that, here is a quick rundown.
You have the right to remain silent
These words are presented as a sort of contract between the person being arrested and the police officer doing the arresting. This is because reciting the Miranda Rights protects not only the defendant but the law enforcement officer as well. What they mean by “You have the right to remain silent,” is that a citizen has the opportunity to not answer questions that could hurt their case, either by saying too much out of nervousness or possibly answering leading questions during interrogation. This, however, does not mean that you won’t ever have to answer the questions but more that you want to have a lawyer present to protect and advise you in case of uncertain instances.
You have the right to an attorney
No matter what your financial situation is, if you get arrested you have the right to an attorney to help you present your side to a judge and jury. What this will usually mean is if you cannot afford to hire a private lawyer to take on your case, the courts will assign a public defender to help you. This is at no cost to you but can come with some drawbacks, most often that public defenders are stretched very thin since they are handling so many cases at one time but even then it is a comfort to know that one is guaranteed representation.
In conclusion, the Miranda Rights are there to let you know what your basic civil liberties are at the time of an arrest. It is very important that the officer recited this because it will protect both parties.