Lawyer Resource Center: Miranda Rights
Authored by LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor, , Attorney at Law

Lawyer Resource Center: Miranda Rights

One of the most notable and important supreme court cases in U.S. history, Miranda v. Arizona explains the rights every suspect has when they are questioned for or accused of a crime. The Miranda Warnings, as they were aptly named, must be read by law enforcement before a suspect is taken in for questioning. The suspect should understand these rights and choose whether or not they would like to waive their rights prior to the interrogation process. Miranda Rights were created to protect the Fifth and Sixth Amendment of the Constitution and are meant to protect a suspect against self-incrimination. So, how did the Miranda Rights come to be?

Miranda v. Arizona

In 1966 there was a Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona, in which the court's decision led to the Miranda rights law. The court found that both the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of a man named Ernesto Arturo Miranda were violated when he was arrested and tried for kidnapping and rape. Eventually Miranda was later retried and convicted of his crime.

The court created a set of guidelines which must be followed by law enforcement when a suspect is taken into custody. Before being interrogated, the suspect must be informed of their rights which include the following:

"The person has the right to remain silent and anything the person does or says can and will be used against them in the court of law. They have the right to an attorney and may request to have the attorney present when they are being questioned. If they can not afford an attorney one will be provided for them."

Due to the Berghuis v. Thompkins case in 2010, the United States Supreme Court decided that defendants who have been read their rights, stated that they understood their rights and did not waive them, must declare before being interrogated that they wish to remain silent as to not incriminate themselves.

Resources

Below is a list of links which provide access to documents, articles, and court cases about Miranda rights and how they are used in the United States judicial system. Some of the court cases discuss how improper interrogation can lead to confessions to crimes which were not committed by the suspect in custody.