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How Knowledge about Your Constitutional Rights Goes a Long Way When Facing Criminal Charges

When you face criminal charges, your freedom, reputation and livelihood are on the line. While you should have an excellent Norfolk criminal defense attorney at your side for each step of the criminal justice process, there are initially certain rights you should understand.

Out of the landmark case Miranda v. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a decision that bolstered Fifth Amendment Constitutional rights for many future criminal defendants. Today, most people are familiar with this case through the Miranda warning, which is an advisement that authorities must provide to suspects taken into custody. While authorities vary in the wording used, they warn defendants about the right to remain silent, right to legal counsel and right to have the court appoint an attorney if defendants cannot afford one. The prosecution typically has already targeted the individual for arrest and is prepared to charge them when taking them into custody. Mistakenly, people often believe that their innocence protects them and therefore they can and should say whatever they want. However, prosecutors often take their communication out of context or twist it to show guilt. In their efforts to explain themselves, defendants can unwittingly end up incriminating themselves. Contrary to the natural desire to talk and be forthcoming, silence is the best advice.

Chesapeake criminal defense attorneys should be present during your questioning and can advise you when not to answer a question or to provide only the precise answer and not offer up additional information. 

Messman Law, PLC defends clients throughout the Chesapeake region, including Norfolk and Virginia Beach in a wide scope of criminal areas.