If you have ever watched TV shows or movies involving the police, then you’ve likely come across Miranda rights. It’s the part where the officer says, “You have the right to remain silent,” etc.
The police are required to read them to people in custody before questioning them, so in most cases, they just read them when they arrest someone. By doing so, they reduce the chance someone can later claim they did not realize they had certain rights.
The Miranda rights come from the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
The Fifth Amendment gives you the right to avoid self-incrimination. Answering certain questions honestly may make it more likely you end up convicted, so in most cases, it is best to say nothing in response to police questions. Or, at least wait until you have a legal representative to guide you, which is another right the police should articulate.
Remember, you do not have to have committed any crime for your answers to work against you. Let’s say the police ask you where you were at 2 p.m. Telling them where you were, which just happened to be close to where a crime took place, could motivate them to believe you committed the crime.
Of course, the police may ask you plenty of questions before they actually arrest you and before they are required to read you your Miranda rights. Telling them that you are invoking your right to remain silent can help you protect yourself – as can calling for legal help as soon as possible to learn more about your rights.