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The Miranda Rights

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Whenever a cop arrests a guy on a cop show, the cop must recite a series of rights to the arrested. The script "you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can or will be held against you in a court of law . . . "comes directly from the 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona.

Miranda v. Arizona

In the Miranda decision, the Supreme Court held that anyone arrested had to be told of their rights. The police or any law enforcement officers could not use statements made by the supposed criminal unless certain procedures had been followed. These procedures involve both having a person's rights read to them at the time of an arrest as well as during interrogations. The court specifically outlined the necessary aspects of police warnings to suspects, including the right to have counsel present during interrogations as well as the warning of the right to remain silent.

Other cases were decided at the same time. They all revolved around the idea that unless a suspect was informed of his or her rights, any statement made was not admissible in the trial because the suspect might not have said some things if a lawyer had been there to say "don't answer that."

This was a huge court case in that it defined the rights of the accused and also recognized that police interrogations were more psychologically than physically damaging.

The Miranda Rights

Following the Miranda case, the police were required to inform a person they arrested that they had various rights. These rights include:

- The right to remain silent

- The right to speak to an attorney (or the right to counsel) and have an attorney present during interrogations

If these rights are not read to a person or are violated at any point during the process, the charges can be dropped. Also, certain evidence (such as a confession) may be thrown out if the suspect did not have counsel present or was not informed of the option of legal counsel.

These rights are considered to be a part of the Bill of Rights. These rights stem from amendments 4 through 6 as well as the 14th. They provide for a fair and speedy trial, legal counsel, protection from double jeopardy, protection from self incrimination (I plead the 5th), and various other important features.

If a person is not read the Miranda rights, a skilled criminal defense attorney can have a lot of evidence thrown out. For this reason, it is important that a criminal lawyer be retained for a suspect's defense. They can not only help a person that has been indicted but can help a suspect even before a case goes to trial.


About the Author

Author Joe Devine. For more information concerning your legal rights, contact the Denton Criminal Lawyers of Alexander & Associates.


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-02-09 22:36:45 in Legal Articles

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