The Miranda rights to remain silent and to call a criminal defense lawyer are well known by anyone familiar with television or film crime dramas. Individuals placed under arrest and taken in to custody in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah may not fully understand the importance of these rights. Falsely accused individuals in particular may believe their cooperation can quickly end the stressful criminal arrest experience. Everyone should take advantage of their Miranda rights — and learn how to properly exercise them.
The year 2010 may seem like a long time ago. However, even though prominent publications like The New York Times reported a vital 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that changed the exercise of Miranda rights, many people are still not aware of the change. While the decision did not alter the requirement to inform suspects of their Miranda rights, it determined that suspects must explicitly state that they want all questioning to stop and they want to invoke their right to remain silent. In other words, even if you remain silent for hours after receiving your Miranda rights, simply saying yes to a cup of coffee can be enough to waive your rights, allowing the prosecution to use any statement you make from that point forward against you in court.
You may intend the statements you make after an arrest to explain your innocence. However, the words you choose can be easily misinterpreted by law enforcement officials, especially since they already believe you are guilty. It is vital to have experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys at your side before you make any statements to help ensure all questioning is conducted legally and to make sure your responses do not inadvertently amount to self-incrimination. Without this protection, even completely innocent defendants can go through a complex criminal prosecution process.
The attorneys at Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen are ready to protect your rights during every step of the criminal process. We offer free consultations to individuals throughout northern Utah. Contact us to learn how we can help.