One of the many rights afforded to you under the U.S. Constitution is that of the Fifth Amendment. According to the Fifth Amendment, if you are suspected of committing a criminal offense, you have the right to avoid self-incrimination by remaining silent during questioning. That same amendment also gives you the right to have an attorney present during any and all questioning. These rights, known as your "Miranda Rights", based on the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona, are generally summed up in a concise statement which must be delivered by any law enforcement official prior to beginning questioning.
While an individual will not always be read their rights immediately upon their arrest, you must be informed of your Miranda Rights before you are subjected to any form of questioning. If you have not been informed of your rights prior to questioning, any confession or information you provide will not be considered valid in a court of law, and your attorney can file a motion to have it suppressed. Should you waive your rights, then decide to invoke your right to an attorney at a later time, all questioning must cease. If you are unfamiliar with the Fifth Amendment, and/or your Miranda Rights, law enforcement is required by law to warn you of your right to remain silent, to the fact that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, that you have the right to have an attorney present during all questioning, and if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you free of charge.
If you have reason to believe that your Miranda Rights have been violated, we strongly advise you contact our firm and speak with an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys have more than two decades combined experienced as former state prosecutors, and at least 30 years combined experience in the field of criminal defense law. The knowledge and expertise we have concerning the entire criminal process, including how the prosecution will be building their case against you, gives our firm a unique insight into how to create an effective strategy geared to get the most optimum results on your behalf.
We understand that being arrested can be an extremely frightening experience. We also know that even though you may be afraid of what the future will bring, it is important for you to take measures to protect your freedom and defend your rights. Contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer at The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger at once.