There are many misunderstandings about the Miranda rights: what they are, what they protect against, when they must be stated and when they can be evoked. Experts estimate about 80 percent of suspectsunintentionally waive their Miranda rights. It's often due to a lack of understanding, the stress of the moment or a combination of the two. Make sure you know the facts and how the law protects you.
Myth: "You have the right to remain silent" comprises the entirety of the Miranda warning.
Fact: Your Miranda rights include more than just remaining silent. You must also be told that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. And finally, if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
Myth: Police have to read your Miranda rights when they arrest you.
Fact: Officers only have to read you your rights before you are interrogated while in custody. The courts have often sided with law enforcement when it was argued that a confession happened before a suspect was in custody; therefore, the Miranda rights did not have to be read.
Myth: Police can't lie to you.
Fact: Officers can use deception, such as saying they have evidence against you, to encourage a confession. What they cannot do, however, is manufacture false evidence to get you to confess.
Myth: Once you waive your Miranda rights, you cannot evoke them again.
Fact: You can change your mind at any time during an interrogation and ask for an attorney.