Any of our readers who have watched police dramas on television have likely heard the saying, "You have the right to remain silent." But does the saying mean anything? Absolutely. And if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are taken into police custody, you should hear it again. It's part of what is called the "Miranda Rights," and it is important to understand what it means.
In the 1960's, the United States Supreme Court made a ruling regarding the Miranda vs. Arizona case, which inevitably allowed a person taken into police custody to maintain their Fifth Amendment rights - the right to remain silent while under police questioning. The Miranda Rights also make certain that anyone accused of a crime receives representation, either through an attorney the arrestee hires or a court-appointed attorney.