Miranda Warnings May Get Expanded

There is a Florida criminal case that was recently heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The issue in the case is about how specific Miranda warnings have to be. If the police suspect you have committed a crime and are investigating you, they have to advise you of your rights. You have the right to remain silent, to have a lawyer present before any questioning begins, etc. The Court is considering expanding those rights.

The case that is before the Court is about a defendant who was convicted in Florida for illegal possession of a gun. The police told the defendant he had the right to talk to a lawyer before answering questions and if he couldn’t afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to him before he was questioned. The Florida Supreme Court overturned the defendant’s conviction because the Florida court found that he was not explicitly told he could have a Florida criminal defense lawyer with him DURING questioning. The Florida justices were concerned that suspects of criminal activity would not fully understand their right to have a criminal attorney there when they are being questioned by police.

The Supreme Court will make a decision in 2010.

If you are arrested in Jacksonville, the police have to advise you of these rights. DO NOT talk to the police without first talking to a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer. The police are not there to help you if you are accused of a crime. Their job is to put you in jail.