Most people have at least heard of their Miranda rights before. It is especially notable in shows featuring police, as they often discuss a person’s “right to remain silent” when apprehending them.
But how do Miranda rights function in real life? How do they differ from their on-screen interpretations?
Miranda Warning discusses your Miranda rights and how they work in reality. First, what does the right to remain silent actually mean?
In short, it means that a person does not have a legal obligation to talk to police during an interview if they invoke their Miranda rights. This is a tool that prevents people from accidentally self-incriminating during interviews if they do not know how to navigate the interview properly.
Dismantling false narratives
Despite the false narrative that only guilty people invoke their Miranda rights, this is far from true. Many people who are innocent but in precarious positions for various reasons choose to invoke their rights to keep from accidentally worsening a situation.
There is also another, less discussed right protected under the Miranda rights. This is a person’s right to legal counsel, i.e., an attorney or legal representation.
Not everyone can afford an attorney. However, they are necessary in a court system because it rarely goes well when a person chooses to represent him or herself. To that end, if a person invokes their Miranda rights, the state will supply them with legal counsel if they cannot afford it.
Together, these are two very powerful protections that can get a person under suspicion out of a tricky situation.