December 25, 2014

What the police don't want you to know about Miranda Rights

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DetailsCategory: DUI Blog
Miranda WarningBy Jessica Towne

Miranda rights are back in the news. The New York Times Science Section under "Well" on October 14, 2014 had an eye-opening article on juveniles and police interrogators. Researchers determined that the brains of adolescents are different than adult brains, and teens don't necessarily understand the implications of telling the police what their involvement in a crime may or may not have been.

It's not just juveniles who quickly waive their Miranda rights.

These are very important rights that many of us have heard on TV, in the movies, and perhaps live and in person.

To simplify the decision that gave us our Miranda rights in 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court held that without proper safeguards, the process of in-custody interrogation of persons suspected or accused of crime contains inherently compelling pressures which work to undermine the individual's will to resist and compel him to speak where he would otherwise not do so freely. Therefore, a defendant must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires.

In other words, even our Supreme Court recognizes that the cards are stacked in favor of the police. Someone who's being questioned doesn't know the criminal laws and procedures like the police do, just like the police don't know how to do your job. It's only fair that the police tell you before they question you that the entire purpose of this question-and-answer session is to gather evidence to prosecute you and put you in jail.

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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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