Almost everyone has seen an episode Cops, and should be familiar with proverbial phrase “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you, you have the right to an attorney, if you can’t afford one, one will be appointed for you.” These are known as your Miranda rights, which are generally read to you by the police after an arrest and/or before an interrogation. But how do these rights exactly help you? They are intended to protect those in custody against any potential self-incrimination. But according to the most recent Supreme Court ruling, the only way you can now exercise your right not to say anything to the cops is to, in fact, tell the police that you wish not to say anything to them. Seems to not make very much sense, right? Well now you know.
So the next time you’re watching The Wire, or unfortunately in the midst of a real life experience, know how to identify any police trickery when they want to find anything incriminating. If one doesn’t properly exercise their right, and then say something incriminating, the police will use it against you. It is because the cops know, as you should now, that you only have the right to remain silent if you tell that to them. Any slip up could result in you catching a case.
A few golden rules for those to live by, or to call out while watching your favorite crime drama:
- Legally, one never has to open the door when the police are knocking on it unless they have a warrant.
- One should never let the cops search their vehicle if they ask for permission to do so. If they had probable cause to search, they wouldn’t even bother asking.
- One never has the right to remain silent, unless they explicitly state to the police that they wish to in fact remain silent.