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The Basics Of The Miranda Warning (Miranda Rights)

Purported offenders in the United States do have rights at the moment of their arrest. The Miranda warning or Miranda rule represents those rights for the purported offender, giving them the ‘right to remain silent’ upon arrest.

The Miranda warning

According to Montoya Shaffer, a Philadelphia criminal attorney, the Miranda warning is a formal warning required by police to read to criminal suspects in police custody before they are interrogated. The rights inform and remind accused suspects that, under the United States Constitution, they have the privilege to invoke their rights any time during the interview.

The Miranda warning is as follows (referenced from MirandaRights.org):

“You have the right to remain silent.

If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law.

You have the right to consult with a lawyer and have [that lawyer] present during any questioning.

If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.

If you choose to talk to the police officer, you have the right to stop the interview at any time.”

Whenever the accused party is held in police custody, police officials are legally required to read the Miranda warning if they want to interview the suspect and use their answers as evidence in a trial.

No Miranda warning is required if the suspect isn’t in police custody; this usually applies to cases where police interview witnesses or suspects about a recent crime or if the accused confesses to a crime before being read their Miranda rights.

The history of the Miranda warning

The Miranda warning was instated as a part of United States common law after the United States Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that defendants (suspects) had the right against self-incrimination during interrogation, the right to consult with an attorney before and during questioning and the right to voluntary consent to and waive these rights before police interrogation.

The case involved Ernesto Miranda of Phoenix, Arizona. In 1963, he was arrested for robbing a bank worker while armed (armed robbery). During a police interrogation, Miranda signed a written confession to his crime; he also confessed to kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old girl days before the robbery occurred.

Although he was convinced of the robbery, his attorney appealed the case due to the fact that Miranda didn’t understand he had the right against self-incrimination. Evidence (the confession) was used in the trial, though his attorney argued that his confession wasn’t truly voluntary and could not be used.

The 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona was a case that impacted law enforcement in the United States, making the reading of Miranda rights a regular procedure for police.

from: Montoya Shaffer Criminal Lawyers

For a Philly criminal defense attorney, contact Montoya Shaffer