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The protections offered by Miranda rights

Georgia residents who may be subject to police interrogation might find it beneficial to more fully understand the rights that are afforded to them by the U.S. Constitution. Under the Fifth Amendment, all persons enjoy the right against self-incrimination. The purpose of the Miranda warnings is to ensure that individuals do not involuntarily surrender that right.

Law enforcement officials must inform detainees of their right to remain silent and their right to the presence of an attorney before proceeding with an interrogation. In order to fully enjoy the protections afforded by the Miranda rights, however, an individual who faces questioning must actively invoke them. Unless the desire to remain silent or to have an attorney present is clearly communicated to authorities, the results of a subsequent interrogation could be admissible in court as evidence for the prosecution's case.

It is not enough to simply remain silent. Unless this right is explicitly voiced, police can choose to continue an interrogation either immediately or at a later time without necessarily violating the detainee's Miranda rights.

In the event that the right to remain silent was not properly invoked, the prosecution must establish that the charged individual not only understood the reading of the rights but also waived them. The latter may not be difficult to do if the detainee made further voluntary statements after being informed of and acknowledging an understanding of the rights as read by a law enforcement official.

Georgia residents who have been taken into custody may find it beneficial to request the presence of a criminal defense attorney at their earliest opportunity. The attorney could see that their rights are protected throughout every step of the legal process while helping a client avoid unintentionally waiving them during what might be experienced as a stressful and confusing situation.

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