You may be aware of Miranda Rights from cop shows on the TV. Suspects in cases have a right to be warned by police that what they say can be used against them as evidence. However, few people are aware of the history of Miranda rights.
The Miranda warning stems from a landmark case in 1966. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that whenever a person is taken into police custody, before being questioned the suspect must be informed of his or her Fifth Amendment rights.
The warning is intended to prevent defendants incriminating themselves post-arrest. At this point, a criminal defense lawyer should be hired to represent you.
The four things a police officer, a state trooper or any other law enforcement officer should tell you on arrest are the following:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say to the officer can and will be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, a lawyer will be appointed for you.
The Miranda case was meant to end intimidating police tactics previously known as the “third degree” in which officers would press suspects to reveal incriminating information.
The Miranda decision was based on a case in which a defendant, Ernesto Miranda, was accused of kidnapping, robbery, and rape. He confessed to the crime during a police interrogation.
Miranda’s conviction was overturned for allegedly intimidating methods of police questioning. Miranda was again convicted after a retrial.
The result of another trial, Escobedo v. Illinois in 1964, provided that a suspect has a right to legal counsel during police questioning or to meet with a lawyer before being questioned by police if the answers will be used against the suspect at a trial, or if a suspect is being detained and questioned against their will.
The finalised text for the Miranda Warning was provided in 1968 by California deputy attorney general Doris Maier and district attorney Harold Berliner.
A police officer must only read you the Miranda Warning if he or she plans on using your answers as evidence at a criminal trial. In some cases, you may be stopped and asked questions without being read those rights. You have the right to politely refuse to answer these questions.
If an officer fails to read you the Miranda warning, the case against you may not necessarily be dropped. However, the evidence gained from your statements will be inadmissible in court.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Newnan or the surrounding area, call The Law Offices of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.