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What if police didnít read me my rights?

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Many people believe that they can ďbeat the caseĒ if the officer doesnít read them their [URL="http://flexyourrights.org/supreme_court/miranda_v_arizona"]Miranda rights[/URL] during an arrest. This is a myth.

The only time an officer must read a person his or her Miranda rights is when: (1) the person has been placed under arrest, AND (2) the officer is about to question the person about a crime. For example, if youíre placed under arrest after consenting to a search request and confessing to ownership of found contraband, police do [I]not[/I] need to read you your rights unless they want to question you about an unrelated crime.

The courts have made clear that police do not have to tell you about your right to refuse searches. Also, despite the myth to the contrary, an officer does not need to get your consent in writing; oral consent is completely valid.

If youíre arrested, donít rely on police to inform you of your right to remain silent and see a lawyer. Use the magic words ĒIím going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer.Ē If police persist in questioning you, repeat the magic words. The magic words are like a legal condom. Theyíre your best protection if youíre under arrest.

Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in court. So donít try to talk yourself out of the situation, and donít make small talk with police either.

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