Do You Understand Your Miranda Rights? [infographic]

According to psychologists and other experts, people often waive their Miranda Rights because they don’t fully understand them or they don’t believe they have anything to hide. Understanding the Miranda Rights can help preserve important protections against self-incrimination.

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What are Miranda Rights?

Miranda rights are meant to protect a person from coercive interrogation techniques often used by law enforcement. When suspects are questioned by police officers, some can be easily coerced into admitting to a crime by sharing too much information or discussing details of the event. Juveniles, nervous suspects, and people who think they can talk their way out of the situation are especially vulnerable to waiving Miranda Rights and losing their protection against self-incrimination, false accusations, search without consent, and perjury. The Fifth Amendment states that no person can be compelled “to be a witness against himself.”

Miranda Rights state the following: “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 speak to an attorney and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.”

Although many people have heard these words, experts report that some don’t fully understand what they mean. To exercise Miranda Rights, a person must say they want to remain silent. Any time police question a person who’s in police custody, that person has a right to invoke his/her Miranda Rights. As soon as that happens, the police interrogation must come to a halt.

All crime suspects are protected by their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and their Sixth Amendment right to an attorney. However, in certain cases involving serious offenses and violent crimes, a suspect can be questioned without being Mirandized if the suspect is considered to be an imminent threat to public safety.

Criminal suspects can waive their right to remain silent or to have an attorney present either expressly or implicitly. To expressly waive Miranda Rights the suspect would state, or sign something stating, that he/she waives the right to remain silent or the right to have an attorney present. An implied waiver means that the suspect behaves in a way that indicates a knowing and voluntary waiver of his/her rights. However, before Miranda Rights can be waived, a suspect must first be informed of those rights and fully understand them as explained.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

The criminal defense process in Minnesota constitutes several steps, starting with investigations and culminating with appeals. This process can be long and exhausting. An arrest alone can leave you scared, confused, and overwhelmed with emotions. Making logical decisions in this state can be difficult, especially if it is your first time interacting with the criminal justice system.
The first thing to do after you have been accused of a sex crime in Minneapolis, MN, is to familiarize yourself with the seriousness of the situation. The next thing is to seek legal guidance from a lawyer who has established a practice by successfully defending people facing sex crime accusations. You should also collect and preserve all proof that can help support your defense strategy.