Have you always been the type of person who gets nervous if you see a police officer? Even if you know you have done nothing wrong, your heart rate may increase a few beats per minute when you see a law enforcement officer in uniform. Many other people in Ohio also have this kind of anxiety. It can make for an extremely stressful experience if a police officer pulls you over or knocks on your front door at home.
If a cop starts asking you questions or requests that you allow a search of your home, person, vehicle or private property, it's best to try to remain calm and cooperate as much as possible. However, you never have to do or say anything that violates your personal rights. The officer, too, must act in accordance with your rights at all times. This is why it's critical that you understand Miranda regulations as well as how they apply to your situation.
It all changed in 1966
The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case that year and issued a ruling that is still in effect today. The following list provides useful information regarding the Miranda versus Arizona case that may directly impact your ability to avoid conviction if an Ohio police officer arrests you on suspicion of drunk driving or some other criminal offense:
- Investigators may not interrogate you post-arrest unless and until an officer has verbally informed you of your Miranda Rights.
- An officer must tell you that he or she is placing you under arrest.
- Your Miranda Rights include four basic pieces of information, including the fact that prosecutors may use your words and actions to try to incriminate you in court.
- The arresting officer must also tell you that you can invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent unless legal support is present.
- If you were not informed that you have the right to hire an attorney and that the court will assign one to you if you can't afford to hire one, then you may not have been fully informed of your Miranda Rights.
It is unlawful to question a defendant without informing him or her of these rights beforehand. If you were to confess to a criminal offense without first hearing your Miranda Rights, the confession may constitute coercion or intimidation of a defendant. There are people who can help you protect your rights against unlawful searches and seizures as well as challenge the evidence begotten in violation of those rights during or following your arrest.