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What does the Miranda warning protect?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Everyone probably knows about the Miranda Warning. You hear it on tv when the police officer says, “You have the right to remain silent.” However, the Miranda Warning is not a failsafe protector of your rights, and there are many misconceptions about when an officer must issue the warning.

According to the United States Courts, the Miranda warnings come from a Supreme Court decision that Fifth Amendment rights protect individuals outside of criminal court and law enforcement is responsible for informing suspects of said rights. This does not mean you cannot incriminate yourself under any circumstances.

Do not answer questions

Police officers must issue a Miranda warning to individuals they take into custody. Unfortunately, law enforcement agents often use a loophole to gain incriminatory statements from their suspects. If they do not place you under arrest and say you are free to leave at any time, they do not have to issue the Miranda warning. Anything you say at that point can become evidence used against you. Police might trick you into answering a question and arrest you after they have the necessary evidence.

Only provide your identification if necessary

You have the right to remain silent during the investigation, including before police take you into custody. However, if a police officer stops you in your car, you must provide your license, insurance and registration. If you are walking, they cannot request your identification unless they have an investigation in progress.

The Fifth Amendment protects you from incriminating yourself. The Miranda warning only comes into play if an officer takes you into custody. Exercise your right to remain silent before and after the police read your rights.