Not everyone is or can be an expert on all aspects of the law. This is where law enforcement has the upper hand in many situations, because they may arrest an individual who does not even understand that their rights may have been violated, or maybe the police officer broke the law themselves. You may have heard that if a police officer forgets to read you your Miranda rights your charges may be dropped. However, this is false information. Miranda rights are simply used to make sure that an individual that is being arrested fully understands what their rights are following the arrest because it is not expected for an individual to know this already. Miranda rights inform you of your right to remain silent despite being questioned, your right to legal counsel, and that what you say can be used against you in your case. Once it is made clear that you understand, you have a choice to make, will you speak to police officers without your attorney present? No matter if you are in police custody or not, you are not obligated to answer any of their questions. It is best to believe anything you say to a police officer can be used against you, this is because even if you are not placed under arrest at that time, any information you provide can likely be used to prosecute you later on. 

No matter the criminal accusation, it is best to speak with a criminal defense attorney about your arrest to ensure your rights were not violated. In most cases, an attorney will suggest silence over anything and that they should speak for you. This is because, again, you may not understand the law and how seemingly innocent answers may lead to incrimination. There are many loopholes in the law, some that can very well work against you and several that may work in your favor. It is nearly impossible to know this unless you discuss your case with a criminal defense attorney. If you or someone you know has had a run-in with law enforcement and needs a better understanding of their rights at the time of an arrest, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Decatur, GA in the area the arrest took place to see what options may be available for you. Many criminal defense attorneys offer free consultations, so it will not hurt you to speak to someone as soon as you can. 

Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and Miranda rights.