The Miranda Warning Explained

If you have ever seen a police drama on TV, you have undoubtedly heard an officer reading someone their Miranda rights. It is the part where the police say, “you have the right to remain silent…” and continues on from there. In the event that you or a loved one are ever arrested, it is important to know that this is not just something used on TV or a formality that the police need to follow. The Miranda warning will inform you of key rights that you should take seriously. 

Development of the Miranda Warning

The Miranda rights were first put into law after a 1966 Supreme Court decision, Miranda v. Arizona. In this case, it was found that the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of Ernesto Arturo Miranda had been violated when he was arrested. It was ultimately determined that when someone is placed into custody or in a custodial interrogation, they need to know their legal rights. It wasn’t until 1984 in the Supreme Court decision in Berkemer v. McCarty that it was determined that these rights need to be known regardless of the severity of the type of crime involved. 

Rights Included in the Miranda Warning

Most people will recognize the Miranda rights when they hear them. It is a misconception, however, to believe that the arresting officer has to read them in any exact verbiage or specific order. As long as each of the rights is listed, the officer has met their obligation. In general, officers will read them in the following order:

  • You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer any questions.
  • Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before questioning if you wish.
  • If you decide to answer questions without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.

The Miranda warning must be read to the suspect in a way that they can understand. Additionally, officers need to confirm that the person being arrested heard and understood these rights. Many police departments stop after each line and ask if the individual understood that right to ensure there was no confusion.

Miranda Warning Violations

While the Miranda rights are a basic requirement the police have on every arrest, they still fail to meet this obligation in some situations. If you didn’t have your Miranda rights read to you during an arrest or you didn’t understand them, it may be used in your defense.  Of course, it may depend as to whether you made any statements while in custody. Please contact us to go over the exact details of your arrest and begin the process of developing a strong defense strategy.

The following two tabs change content below.

Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

Latest posts by Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL (see all)