If Florida law enforcement officers ever attempt to question you about anything, you need to know your Miranda rights and assert them appropriately. FindLaw explains that while you never have any obligation to answer an officer’s questions without an attorney present, officers may well attempt to question you while conducting an investigation into an alleged crime.
You probably know your Miranda rights in general from having watched various movies and TV shows. However, it never hurts to review them. Here are the four parts to Miranda:
- 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 an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
Unfortunately, however, the main drawback to your Miranda rights per se is that officers need not inform you of them before they arrest you. Consequently, if, for instance, an officer asks you to come down to the station and make a statement as to what you saw or heard at an alleged crime scene, you voluntarily give them this information if you accede to their request. When you voluntarily give information, you waive your Miranda rights and the officers may well use the information you give them against you.
The U.S. Supreme Court established Miranda rights in the case of Miranda v. Arizona back in 1966. But the U.S. Constitution and its Amendments preceded Miranda and serve as the basis for these rights. Specifically, Miranda flows from the following constitutional rights that you always have, whether or not arrested:
- The unreasonable search and seizure prohibition guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment
- The self-incrimination prohibition guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment
- The right to have an attorney during interrogations guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment
Thus your Miranda rights represent crucial protections that you should never voluntarily give up. This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.