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Speaking with the police and knowing your rights

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When you are suspected of a crime or suspected of being involved in a crime, the police will bring you down to the station for questioning. If this should happen, there are a few things you need to be aware of as far as your rights are concerned.
First and foremost, the police must inform you that you are under arrest. If you have not been arrested, you do not have to report to the police station. Should you decide to head down to the station anyways, be sure to talk with a lawyer before doing so. In going to the police station of your own accord, you are free to leave at any time. The police cannot keep you at any time against your will unless they officially arrest you.

Plenty of people are aware of Miranda rights because of television and movies, but very few people exercise these rights. Miranda rights are usually issued at the time of arrest. Police read the rights and often minimize their importance because that is part of their job. You may give up two invaluable rights when you answer questions after the Miranda rights are issued: the right to remain silent according to the Fifth Amendment and the right to have a lawyer present during questioning according to the Sixth Amendment.

These rights are invaluable because you may unwittingly provide information that could implicate you in the crime during police interrogation. You do not know what the police officers may know. They are as interested in eliminating innocent suspects as much as they are in gathering evidence against the guilty. Either way, it is best to consult a lawyer before answering any and all questions.

If you have committed the crime in question, you basically have no chance of talking your way out if it. In this instance, silence is the best defense. The majority of criminal convictions result from individuals who accidentally provide evidence against themselves. Police often build a criminal case based on what the suspects in question provide during questioning. Any information you reveal during questioning can be used against you during court proceedings.

If you do decide to speak with the police freely, you have the right to stop answering questions if you feel threatened or uncomfortable. Simply tell the officer or officers that you do not want to talk anymore without a lawyer present. The police cannot continue to interrogate you if you indicate in any way shape or form that you do not with to answer any more questions. The police cannot force you to answer questions through physically or psychological means. Any information that is obtained through these means is inadmissible in court. The use of physical force or psychological coercion is considered police misconduct.

If you have been arrested and brought in for questioning, remember that you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to speak with an attorney and you have the right to answer questions only when your attorney is present.

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