For many Michigan residents, being arrested is a horrifying experience, especially if it is your first encounter with the criminal justice system.
When people are scared, they often try to talk themselves out of the situation. Many people end up doing this during an arrest; however, this usually only leads to more problems or even additional charges.
You are read your Miranda rights when you are arrested. You are probably familiar with these rights from seeing them being read to people on television shows or in movies.
You must be read your Miranda rights
Miranda rights include the right to remain silent, the right to speak with an attorney and the right to have an attorney appointed for you if you cannot afford one.
The police officer who is arresting you must read you all these rights. The exact wording may vary, but the words should be clear enough so that you understand exactly what your rights are.
Stay silent and ask for an attorney
It is extremely important to exercise your right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions from the police or prosecutors, and you should never volunteer any information of your own.
Even if you believe the statements that you are making could not possibly hurt you, they potentially could. Since you are likely distressed, your statements may not come out the way you intend.
This right applies to oral and written statements. You might not say anything at your arrest, but the police officer may ask you to write down what you saw, or what you did after you are back at the station. Do not do it.
Don’t use vague wording
When you ask for an attorney, make sure your request is clear. Saying something like “I think I might need an attorney” could not be a clear enough statement, making the police officers think they can keep questioning you.
Having proper advice and guidance throughout the criminal process is essential. You can learn about your legal options by talking with a criminal defense attorney.