Miranda Rights in Arizona and Self-Incrimination
When criminal charges are brought against you, the arresting officer is required to read you your Miranda rights. You have the right to not say incriminating things about yourself or admit to the charges against you under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. You should seek an Arizona criminal defense attorney before commenting on your case with the prosecutor or public servants of any kind.
Your Miranda rights are as follows: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you by the court. With these rights in mind, are you still willing to talk with me about the charges against you?”
The Fifth Amendment ensures that you get a strong trial and that you have the proper ability to defend yourself. You’ve probably heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.” That means that the courts must prove that you are responsible for the criminal charges brought against you.
To help you understand how to properly use your Miranda rights and ability to avoid incriminating statements, let’s take a deeper dive into your rights.
The reading or stating of Miranda rights
Police officers are required to read or state your Miranda rights when you are taken into custody. They are required to state these rights when you are questioned for a crime.
What you need to know is that you have the right to remain silent regardless of whether or not your Miranda rights are read to you.
You also need to know that anything you say before your rights are stated can still be used against you. A police officer or public servant might try to engage in friendly conversation with you, perhaps even before charging you. Anything you say during this time can still be used against you and is permissible in court.
Therefore, you should always be conscientious of anything you say when questioned by a public official. Even conversations that seem casual can be a form of questioning that can lead to your conviction.
Click here for important facts about your Miranda rights.
Invoking your right to silence
Although from the Miranda right statement it sounds as though you can just say nothing, that isn’t actually the case. You need to invoke your right to remain silent by stating your intentions. Failure to do so could look like you are being uncooperative.
When you invoke your right to silence, you may still receive questions. You can choose to not answer some questions while answering others. There is a risk involved in this approach though because you might look guiltier about the questions you don’t answer.
Declining comment until your Arizona criminal defense attorney arrives
If you’re planning to hire an Arizona criminal defense attorney, you should decline comment until he or she arrives. This is so that they can best defend you. It allows them to stay up to speed on all evidence and statements related to your case.
If you have the opportunity, it’s also best to discuss your case with your attorney before going on record. This enables your attorney to coach you on what to say and how to say it to best serve your case.
Role of an Arizona criminal defense attorney
Your attorney will listen carefully to everything you say and be in charge of all public statements you make. When in the room during questioning, they will advise you on which questions to answer and which ones are leading questions designed to trap you.
Their experience can be quite handy throughout proceedings and will ensure you get to put your best foot forward in court.