When driving down the road and you see blue lights behind you, you may immediately feel a sense of panic. Even if you do not believe that you have done anything wrong, you can still feel nervous about an encounter with police. This feeling affects many people, and in some cases, your anxiety may cause an officer to become more suspicious that you may have committed a violation.
If an officer begins to question you or even accuses you of a crime, your sense of panic may increase. However, trying to remain as calm as possible may work in your favor. You could also do well to remember that you have rights and that an officer must inform you of those rights as part of a Miranda Warning.
As part of a 1966 Supreme Court case, a ruling made it standard procedure for police to inform individuals taken into custody of their rights under the Fifth Amendment. The standard warning must inform you of the following four elements:
- Your right to stay silent
- The fact that any information you give or statements made can be used against you
- Your right to legal representation
- The fact that you will be provided an attorney if you cannot afford one
Because many people may feel the need to immediately explain themselves or provide information in hopes of making a situation better, they may begin talking without thinking through what they say. As a result, they could unwittingly provide police with incriminating evidence. When authorities advise you of your rights, it may act as a helpful reminder that you could benefit from refraining to provide any information until you have spoken with your legal counsel.
Failure to inform you of your rights
If police officers do not inform you of your Miranda Rights, the failure to do so could act as part of your criminal defense. Any information you provided to authorities and any evidence that information may have helped uncover would be considered inadmissible in court if police did not inform you of your rights before questioning.
In order to better understand your rights, criminal defense options and other elements of a criminal court case, you may wish to gain additional information. Utilizing local Alabama legal resources could help you ensure that the knowledge you gain is applicable and reliable.