It is a near certainty that you have heard the Miranda Rights being read before. It’s in almost every crime procedural that fills up primetime TV. It starts with “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” It’s part of the basic foundation on which all police interaction is based. Understanding the Miranda Rights is an incredibly important part of protecting yourself and your family. It means choosing what and when you say to help your cause. Often it means not saying anything until you have found legal representation.
For instance, in a recent federal lawsuit, Rebecca Musarra a Philadelphia based attorney was stopped by state troopers on Rt. 519. They asked her several times if she knew why she had been pulled over. She exercised her Miranda rights and chose not to answer their questions. Things soon escalated with the state troopers informing Musarra that if she did not answer their questions she would be arrested.
On dashcam footage presented during the lawsuit the troopers tell Musarra she was obstructing justice by refusing to answer their questions. After she was arrested and taken to a local police station a supervisor reviewed the footage and determined that Musarra had done nothing wrong. Claiming the whole misunderstanding stemmed from a ‘rookie mistake’
She received $30,000 from the State of NJ, and the officer received additional training. It's a great example of how knowing your rights and remaining calm will protect you.
Do you know your rights? What do you feel about the outcome of this case?
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