Most Americans are familiar with the Miranda rights, so often referenced in TV and movies throughout pop culture. Despite being able to recite the first obligatory lines of these rights, however, most people don’t know exactly what their Miranda rights are, when they apply during police questioning, and the importance of contacting a qualified criminal defense attorney whether you are innocent or guilty. If you are taken in by police, the first thing you should do is contact a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney to help you be aware of your rights. Here’s a closer look at what rights you need to be familiar if you are taken in by police.
Police Approach vs. Stop to Ask Questions
The police are charged with the duty to protect and serve the public and law enforcement officials are given specific powers to help them do so. Sometimes the police may approach a person to ask questions, but it does not mean that the person is suspected of having committed a crime. It is encouraged to cooperate with police so that they can bring any law-breakers to justice, but no one is under any legal obligation to answer. Never lie to the police as this is defined as “obstructing official business”; if you don’t want to answer, simply say you wish to “remain silent”.
If the police “stop” or “detain” you with force or show of authority that implies you are not free to leave, as opposed to a casual approach, you may be suspected of a crime. A police officer does not have the right to detain you in such a manner without reasonable suspicion, which they would later have to prove.
Your Miranda Rights for Police Questioning
The Miranda warnings are laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436.These are the rights you are legally entitled to when stopped by the police and they are mandated to read them to you upon detainment.
They state that 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 consult with an attorney and have one present during interrogation; if you can’t afford one, an attorney will be appointed for you; if you choose to remain silent the interrogation must stop; and if invoke the right to an attorney the interrogation must stop.
Importance of an Attorney
Should the police take you in for questioning, it is of utmost importance that you contact one of the criminal lawyers in Pittsburgh, Pa. Defending yourself without representation is highly inadvisable as criminal proceedings, regardless of guilt or innocence, require legal training and counsel. Furthermore, if you have been taken in for questioning by the police and think your rights have been violated or that you’ve been falsely accused, you should contact a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney immediately.
Have a winning team on your side for any legal issues you face by contacting the criminal lawyers at Allegheny Attorneys at Law. Our team prides itself on giving your case the personal attention you deserve, supporting you through all the complexities of the legal system to ensure your rights and your innocence are protected every step of the way. If you find yourself facing police interrogation, don’t take chances and call Allegheny Attorneys at Law right away.