When facing an arrest, it is important for New York residents to know their rights under the law. Arrests are stressful and emotionally charged. It may be difficult to think quickly and rationally.
Saying anything unintentionally or simply in anger can damage a defendant’s case and may even render an incorrect ruling. Protecting against accidental or false incrimination and invoking the right to legal assistance may be crucial to the outcome of a case.
Police are required by law to inform citizens of certain rights during an arrest. The Miranda rights are four statements that are so ingrained in pop culture that many know them well. FindLaw lists these iconic rules in their simplest form:
- 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 an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
The Miranda rights became law as a result of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1966. Miranda v. Arizona was one of the most influential cases regarding arrest and interrogation rights for the person taken into police custody. Mirandarights.org reminds citizens that while the wording may change, by law, the arresting officer must clearly state the person’s right not to say anything that might make him or her look guilty and that legal representation is available. The officer must also make sure these rights are understood, including having them translated into another language if necessary. These rights must be knowingly and voluntarily waived for statements or confessions to be admissible in court.