Miranda Warning Laws

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What Are Miranda Warning Laws?

Miranda warnings are what the police read to suspects who have been arrested or detained. Once a person is in custody (meaning that he or she is not free to go), then these warnings must be read before the person can be interrogated, to ensure that the person understands the consequences of speaking to the police without a lawyer.

Miranda laws require that the person be read their rights, which are: the right to be silent, the right to request an attorney, and the right to have an attorney provided by the state in the event that they can’t afford one. The main idea is to ensure that the person’s rights to self-incrimination are fully understood.

Do All States Have Miranda Warning Laws?

Miranda laws are an established part of standard criminal and police procedure. Their validity stems from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Miranda v. Arizona), and therefore apply across the board in all states.

There are, however, exceptions to this requirement. For instance, police don’t need to read a suspect Miranda warnings if there is a condition that might create a danger to the public.

When Do Miranda Warnings Need to Be Read?

The Miranda rule relates to statements that are derived from official police interrogations, and which might be used as testimonial evidence during trial. There are six requirements that must be met to determine whether a situation requires Miranda warnings. Miranda warnings are needed when:

  1. Evidence has been gathered
  2. The evidence is testimonial in nature (i.e., spoken or written, not physical evidence)
  3. The evidence was obtained while the person was in police custody
  4. The evidence resulted directly from police interrogation
  5. The interrogation was conducted by agents of the state, and
  6. The evidence is being offered during an official state criminal prosecution

All of these requirements need to be met; thus, for instance, if the person is not in official police custody (requirement #3), then the police don’t need to read them their Miranda rights in order to question them. Evidence that is obtained in violation of Miranda laws is typically excluded from the upcoming trial evidence.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Criminal Procedure Laws?

Miranda warnings are an important aspect of criminal law, and have undergone many different revisions. You may need to hire a lawyer if you need help with Miranda warnings or other criminal matters. Your lawyer can provide you with advice on your rights as a criminal defendant. Also, your attorney will be able to represent you as needed during formal hearings and meetings.

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Last Modified: 12-09-2013 04:25 PM PST

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