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A quick primer on your Miranda rights

Posted by David A. Weyrens | Jun 28, 2017 | 0 Comments

You have probably heard the whole spiel that occurs when someone is arrested by the police. The officer might grab a card from his or her pocket and start reading, "You have the right to remain silent" and several other statements. These statements are known as your Miranda rights.

There are many points about Miranda rights that some people might not realize. Understanding various aspects might help some individuals who are facing arrest or criminal charges.

There is no standard warning

Each state determines how police officers need to relay these rights to individuals. The wording varies from one state to another. However, the Miranda rights statement must contain specific elements. For example, the Supreme Court requires that the warning include information about a person's right to remain silent, that statements can be used in court, that the person has the right to an attorney and that these rights can be waived.

Backing of the Miranda rights requirements

There are three amendments to the United States Constitution that come into the picture with the Miranda rights. These are the 5th, 6th and 14th Amendments. The 5th Amendment protects people from self incrimination, the 6th Amendment provides a right to legal counsel, and the 14th Amendment requires the previous two to be applicable in all 50 states.

History of the Miranda rights

It was on June 13, 1966, when the Supreme Court ruled on the case of Miranda vs. Arizona. This is when the phrase "Miranda warning" came into the picture. The justices overturned the man's conviction on crimes to which he had confessed based on the fact that the assenting justices thought that he wasn't properly informed of his rights before signing a confession.

Circumstances when the rights must be given

There are specific limitations to when police officers and investigators have to tell a person one's Miranda rights. Typically, these rights are read when a person is arrested. They must also be read when in police custody. If you are in custody, what you say can't be used in court without you being told your Miranda rights.

If you are having a conversation with police officers and aren't in custody yet, which means you are free to leave when you want, your statements can be used in court even if you aren't read your rights.

Once your Miranda rights are read, you can continue to speak to police by waiving those rights. You do have the right to invoke your Miranda rights at any point by making it clear that you aren't answering more questions and that you demand an attorney.

About the Author

David A. Weyrens

David Weyrens is a trial attorney whose practice is devoted to litigation of both criminal and civil matters. In the civil arena, David has a robust practice in the area of personal injury law - helping those i...

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