Law enforcement officers are under pressure to get arrests and convictions for violent crimes. In the rush to judgment, innocent people’s rights can be trampled upon. There may be attempts at coercion or bullying. Even if you have been arrested for a violent crime, you still have rights under the law. Violent crimes defense lawyers fight to protect your civil liberties.
Police give suspects the Miranda warning, also known as Miranda rights, after they have been arrested and before they are interrogated. The warning is meant to protect the detained person from self-incrimination. However, according to the American Psychological Association, many suspects do not understand the meaning of their Miranda Rights. They estimate that 10% of arrests in 2009 were compromised by problems with Miranda warnings.
The Miranda Warning describes these rights:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything that you do say can and will be used against you in court.
- You have the right to have an attorney present while being questioned by the police.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, an attorney will be appointed for you.
An accusation of a violent crime has life altering consequences — even if you are innocent. In Michigan, potential sentences range from 97 days to life in prison. If you did not understand your rights and didn’t invoke them properly before you retained counsel, this could be used to your advantage. A Grand Rapids violent crimes defense lawyer may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed if the police fail to read a Miranda Warning after your arrest.
Even if the police follow the rules, you may still wonder if you’re headed for prison, large fines or other harsh penalties. Don’t put your freedom in jeopardy — even minor crimes can have serious consequences. The aggressive, legally savvy lawyers at Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law P.L.L.C. can mean the difference between “guilty” and “not guilty.”