When police arrest you or take you in for interrogation, they should read you your Miranda rights. Most people know about these rights due to police shows or movies.
However, very few people know what these rights actually cover and protect. What can your Miranda rights do?
Defining your rights
Miranda Warning discusses your Miranda rights. These rights cover two important matters. First, the matter of your right to remain silent. This is in order to avoid self-incrimination, which even innocent people can do.
Second, it preserves your right to legal assistance even if you cannot afford personal representation. If you cannot afford your own, then the state will provide you with representation.
Officers must always get a verbal agreement that you understand these rights and understand what it means to waive them if you choose to continue with the interview or interrogation.
To waive or to invoke
In some cases, an officer might try to make it seem like a better idea to waive your rights and proceed with the discussion. However, despite the misconception that “only guilty people” use their Miranda rights, this is far from the truth.
Anyone and everyone can benefit from the use of their Miranda rights. It prevents you from saying or doing something in police presence that could end up implicating you or making you seem guilty. It also prevents you from saying anything that can be used against you in court later, if you end up facing a court date.
Thus, it is generally better to invoke your Miranda rights rather than waive them.