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Miranda rights and drug charges: How they are related

Watching television, particularly shows that involve police officers, gives you the idea that the authorities have to read you your rights when they arrest you. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court made several ruling that modified the Miranda rights.

We all know what the rights are and can probably quote them word for word. There are two statements that the television leaves out. If you invoke your right to be silent, the questioning by the police must stop. Also, if you choose to have an attorney present, the questioning by the authorities must stop.

You have to agree with the police that you understand your rights. Silence does not mean you assent to understand; you have to actually say that you understand.

The Supreme Court ruled that you must give verbal and written assent to the Miranda statement of rights. This came about because a man refused to sign the agreement and later had statements held against him in court.

When you are being charged with possession of drugs or selling them, you also are read your Miranda rights. It is advisable to get an attorney involved before you say a word. You are always safer to be quiet and let your lawyer tell you when to answer.

Many times, an experienced attorney can mitigate the charges because the interrogation didn't end when you asked for an attorney to be present. Another factor is that you may not want to even sign the Miranda statement until your attorney is present.

Being arrested is never pleasant. Anytime the police handcuff you, it generally means that they are going to arrest you. There can be simple detention that is not arrest, so be careful and wait for your attorney to arrive before you answer any questions.

Source: FindLaw, "Miranda Warnings and Police Questioning," accessed June 25, 2015

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