Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
A Family Law Firm - Clarkville, TN
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A More Progressive Approach to Legal Representation

Committed to protecting your Fifth Amendment rights

Every night, people across Tennessee and around the nation tune in to catch their favorite television crime dramas, many of which feature outlandish crimes, hardened detectives and tense courtroom scenes. It goes without saying that many of these shows -- regardless of the network or even when they originally aired -- will see actors quoting at length from statutes, or using terms of art such as "due process" or "self-incrimination."

It's important to understand that no matter how ridiculous or realistic a certain production might seem, these terms of art have a very real meaning and a very real importance in the real world.

By way of example, consider the term "self-incrimination." While most people might not realize it, this is a constitutional protection conferred by the Fifth Amendment that extends to any situation in which a person is taken into custody by law enforcement officials.

Indeed, it was the Supreme Court of the United States' historic decision in Miranda v. Arizona that helped make this a reality. This decision established the need for law enforcement officials to inform all suspects taken into custody of their "Miranda Rights," which include the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present during any interrogation, and the right to the services of a government-appointed attorney if they can't cover the cost of a private attorney.

What people might not realize is that should law enforcement officials fail to read a suspect their Miranda rights, it will likely be treated by the courts as a violation of their Fifth Amendment rights and serve to keep any statements they may have made while in custody out of evidence.

While this may seem like a straightforward issue, the reality is that it isn't always clear if or when a suspect was read their Miranda Rights.

At Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC, our attorneys have the skill and experience needed to determine whether your Fifth Amendment rights have been violated and, by extension, whether any associated statements must be suppressed.

To learn more about our approach, our firm and our commitment to protecting your rights, please visit our website.

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Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
412 Franklin Street
Clarksville, TN 37040

Phone: 931-444-3153
Fax: 931-278-6642
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