Welcome back and thanks for joining us for this discussion on your 5th Amendment Miranda rights, and whether or not they’re as clear cut as you’ve always assumed. As we pointed out in the previous article, pretty much everyone knows what the Miranda rights are. (“You have the right to remain silent”… just like you’ve seen on TV!)
However, very few people have ever really stopped to consider whether you really understand what that cop is saying to you when they inform you of your rights. And Laricca Seminta Mathews, who admitted to shooting her boyfriend to death in a police interview, certainly believed she was misled by the “vague instructions” the cop gave her.
Matthews claimed the Miranda warnings she got were too vague.
Right before trial, Mathews’ criminal defense attorney filed a motion in our Oakland County Circuit Court to suppress her statements made to police. The reason? She hadn’t been properly advised of her rights. The trial court granted her motion, and the prosecutor responded by filing a request to appeal the judge’s decision. In the end, our Michigan Supreme Court decided that the decision should be handled by the Michigan Court of Appeals.
The Michigan appellate court judges reviewed the case, and had some very interesting perspectives on the case. For starters, they agreed with the defense about the fact that Mathews hadn’t fully understood her rights because she hadn’t been properly informed by the arresting officer of her rights.
The Court of Appeals said that Mathews wasn’t properly informed of her rights
How is that possible, you’re wondering? How could someone not understand their rights? Well, according to the Michigan Court of Appeals, telling someone they have the right to an attorney doesn’t actually help them understand what that means. And what exactly does it mean? Is “having the right to an attorney” what your Miranda rights are all about? Apparently not…
It’s the same as saying “you have the right to remain silent” to someone who doesn’t understand that means they don’t have to answer police questions if they don’t want to (despite the threats officers might make during interviews). Or telling someone “anything you say can be used against you in court” means that every answer to every question (no matter how friendly the conversation with that cop may seem) can be taken and used as evidence to build the prosecution’s case against you!
You DO have the right to an attorney. Exercise your Constitutional right to call the best criminal defense attorneys!
Your Miranda rights tell you that you’ve got the right to an attorney. However, what they don’t tell you is that choosing not to hire an attorney is a huge mistake. And not making sure your attorney is top of the line is even worse! Defending yourself against criminal charges or just accepting whatever court-appointed attorney you happen to be given is worse than a waste of time. If you want the best chances of survival, you need to hire the best criminal lawyer to defend yourself. Go ahead. Check the online ratings. Talk to the attorneys. Find one that has handled hundreds of cases over the decades. You’re probably talking to The Kronzek Firm PLC.
Join us next time for the wrap up on this incredibly interesting and controversial subject! Until then, however, if you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in Michigan, call The Kronzek Firm PLC at 866 766 5245 immediately. Our respected criminal defense attorneys are available 24/7 to help you get the best possible results in your case. We’ve been helping our clients fight criminal charges all across the lower peninsula for decades and we can help you now! You can reach us now at 1 866 7NoJail.