While Miranda rights are a cornerstone of the criminal justice system in the United States, things aren't exactly how they appear on TV and in the movies. Miranda rights, which are named after the landmark 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, require law enforcement officers to inform individuals in custody of their constitutional rights before any interrogation takes place. In this blog post, we'll explore the history and importance of Miranda rights, as well as the legal protections they provide.
The Origin of Miranda Rights
The Miranda warning, also known as the Miranda rights, is a set of warnings that law enforcement officers are required to give to individuals who are being arrested. These warnings vary between jurisdictions, but generally inform the individual of their right to remain silent, their right to an attorney, and the fact that anything they say can be used against them in a court of law.
The Miranda warning originated from the landmark Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, which was decided in 1966. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination applies during police interrogations, and that individuals must be made aware of this right before any interrogation takes place.
Why Are Miranda Rights Important?
Miranda rights are important because they protect individuals from making self-incriminating statements during police interrogations. These rights ensure that individuals have the opportunity to consult with an attorney and make informed decisions about whether or not to speak with law enforcement officers.
Additionally, the Miranda warning helps to ensure that any evidence gathered during an interrogation is admissible in court. If law enforcement officers fail to inform an individual of their Miranda rights before interrogating them, any statements made during that interrogation may be deemed inadmissible in court.
Do Police Always Have to Read Me My Rights?
Many times, people have the mistaken assumption that police are always required to read Miranda warnings during every interaction. Miranda applies when a person is in custody and subject to interrogation. In custody means whether a reasonable person in the defendant's position would have felt free to leave. Custody does not require confinement in a jail -- it can happen at any location. Subject to interrogation means subject to questioning designed to produce an incriminating response. Interrogation does not occur when a person spontaneously volunteers information without being questioned by police.
Invoking Miranda Rights
Oddly enough, a person has to speak up in order to invoke their right to silence. The Supreme Court has ruled that a person must explicitly state that they wish to invoke their right to silence before or during an interrogation for the right against self-incrimination applies. If a person asserts these rights, the interrogation must stop immediately. If evidence is obtained in violation of these rights, that evidence may be excluded at trial.
It's never wise to speak to law enforcement without first consulting an attorney. If you or someone you know are under investigation and need help, contact the lawyers at Garuz Crawford, LLC to see how we can help.