Miranda Warning Lawyers
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What Are Miranda Warnings?
In 1966, the U.S Supreme Court declared that when a person is arrested or taken into custody by the police, they must be told of their Fifth Amendment right not to make any self-incriminating statements before they are questioned. If the proper warnings are not given, and a custodial interrogation occurs, then any statement made by the defendant is inadmissible in court and cannot be used in a criminal case against the defendant.
The police must inform a suspect in custody of the following rights:
- The right to remain silent when questioned
- Anything said or done will be used against the suspect in court
- The consequences of waiving Miranda rights
- The right to retain an attorney or have an attorney appointed
What If the Police Fail to Provide the Miranda Warnings?
If police officers arrest or take a person into custody and interrogate the person without first giving the person the Miranda warnings, any statement or confession that is made by the individual is said to be involuntary and cannot be used against that person in a court or criminal trial. In addition, any evidence that was discovered through the involuntary statements would also be inadmissible since those pieces of evidence would not have been discovered without the statements.
What Is Custodial Interrogations?
The term "custodial" refers to when a person is in custody of the police or law enforcement. A person does not actually have to be arrested to be in custody. Rather, it means that the police have deprived that person of his or her rights to leave the premises or their freedom of action in any significant way.
The term "interrogation" refers to when a person is questioned by police or law enforcement. The questioning does not include questions asked during a routine traffic stop for identify purposes, but rather questions that the police knows or should know would likely produce incriminating responses such as a confession.
What Are the Exceptions to the Miranda Warning?
Police and law enforcement usually must provide the Miranda warnings if the suspect is in custody of the police and subject to interrogation. However, there are some exceptions to the Miranda requirement, one of which applies if the police is looking out for the public safety or responding to a potential emergency. There are not many exceptions to Miranda warnings, but the following are situations where Miranda warnings are not necessary:
- The police may question a suspect without reading Miranda warnings if the questioning is necessary for public safety
- The police may ask standard booking questions
- Miranda warnings are not necessary if the police have a jailhouse informant talking with the suspect
- Miranda warnings are not necessary for routine traffic stops for traffic violations
Should I Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney?
You should contact a criminal defense attorney if you feel that your Miranda rights were violated. This area of criminal law is complicated, so the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney may be beneficial for your case.
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Last Modified: 03-01-2016 10:47 AM PST
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