When facing a situation where you could invoke your Miranda rights, you might ask yourself: should you?
This is a question common to many people facing the possibility of arrest or interrogation for the first time. So, should you use your Miranda rights? Or is it better to waive them?
The protections of Miranda rights
Miranda Warning discusses the potential use of Miranda rights after an arrest. First, what exactly do these rights protect?
In short, Miranda rights exist to protect two primary things. First, it protects your right to remain silent in order to avoid self-incriminating statements. This is the most well-known part of the rights.
Second, it secures your right to legal representation, whether or not you have the financial means to afford it. If you cannot afford your own legal representation, the state will assign one to you.
Waiving or invoking your rights
Officers must ensure that you have a thorough understanding of these rights before you waive or invoke them. Many perpetuate the idea that only guilty people will invoke their Miranda rights in an attempt to get you to waive them, too.
However, these rights serve not just the guilty, but also the innocent. It is common for people who have never worked with law enforcement to misstep and say or do things that will end up used against them later without meaning to.
This is why it is important to utilize your Miranda rights. It acts as a layer of protection that you can and should use, as you should always use as many tools available to you as possible.