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MIRANDA: Know your Miranda Rights and how to use them

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IF YOU ARE A FRAUD VICTIM AT RISK OF ARREST, KEEP THIS DOCUMENT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES!  If you are arrested it will give you something to hang on to and something to refer to so that you don't panic.

Most arrested fraud victims come to us having waived their Miranda Rights or Warning and occasionally they have unwittingly made self-incriminating statements to law enforcement.

None realize that this is what they did.  None realize that they may have caused themselves additional harm. 

There is never any guarantee that justice will prevail in the way the arrested fraud victim expects.  In those instances where the victim has waived his Miranda Rights and made self-incriminating statements, unwinding the damage and achieving justice for that victim can be very difficult.

Reading of Miranda Rights or Warning: Not all states at all times are required to read you your Miranda Rights at the time of arrest.  That does not mean you don't have them.  It is a common misunderstanding, a myth, that if you were not read your Rights, your case can be thrown out of court. 

The truth is that if you are not interrogated after your arrest, there is no reason for law enforcement to read you your Rights.  However, if you are interrogated after your arrest without having been read your Miranda Rights, statements made by you during that interrogation cannot be presented in court.


Interview: the period of questioning by law enforcement investigators prior to arrest.  You have no obligation to consent to an interview, nor should you feel at any time that you are under arrest during an interview. 

You should be able to leave at any time.  Law enforcement must inform you that you are free to go, and there must not be any physical obstacles between you and the exit door nor any impediments to your departure.

Statements made during an interview can later be used against you in a court of law.

Interrogation: the period of questioning by law enforcement investigators after the reading of the Miranda Rights or Warning.

Person of Interest: This is a term you may have heard in the news.  It is normal Justice Department parlance for subjects of investigation and includes 'suspect', 'subject' and 'target'.  If you are termed a "Person of Interest" and the police want to interview you, STOP.  You need an attorney present to protect you from making unintentional self-incriminating statements.

Arrest: You can be arrested anywhere and read your rights anywhere.  Many police vehicles have installed video and voice recording devices and because of this, in some states the arrest and arrest statements can take place in the police vehicle without going back to police headquarters or Sheriff's Department.

These are the Miranda Rights or Warning as dictated by Miranda vs.Arizona:

In the absence of other effective measures the following procedures to safeguard the Fifth Amendment privilege must be observed: 

The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against him in court; he must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him.

Below is the Miranda Rights text most states use:           

You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say will be used against you in a court of law.  You have the right to an attorney during interrogation; if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.


1.  "You have the right to remain silent" means KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.  It's not called a Warning for nothing.  You may safely state the following:

(a) Your name.

(b) Your address.

(c) Your Social Security Number if asked.

(d) "I invoke my 5th Amendment right to an attorney."

Invoking your Rights is not an admission of guilt. It just means that you are smart enough to call in an expert for advice.


2.  "Anything you say will be used against you in a court of law" means that anything you say will be used against you in court.  You can count on it.


3.  "You have the right to an attorney during interrogation" sounds as if you can invoke your right to an attorney at any time during the interrogation.  Don't count on it and don't bet on it.  Ask for an attorney before the interrogation.


4.  "But I don't need an attorney!  I didn't do anything wrong!" is the most disastrous phrase a fraud victim can say to law enforcement detectives because it tells the detectives that they can use all interrogation techniques at their disposal (including the use of deception, which they are allowed to do) without the presence of advising counsel to guide you through your answers or silence.


Fraud victims who are arrested are always an emotional disaster area, frightened, confused, angry, and not thinking straight.  In other words: ideal for interrogation.


Law enforcement works for the prosecution.  If you are considered a suspect in a crime, the police are not on your side, even if you are a fellow law enforcement officer.


No matter who you are, no matter what your job title is, from President of a major corporation to law enforcement, to professional to housewife, to politician to business owner, to Hollywood star to college student, during an interrogation the police are not your friends, no matter how they act.



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