Saturday, October 31, 2009

What is the Miranda admonishment?

The Miranda warning includes the following rights:
1. The right to remain silent; (anything the suspect says can be used against him/her;
2. The right to an attorney and to have the attorney present during questioning;
3. The right to appointed counsel if cannot afford an attorney; and
4. With that understanding of your rights, are you willing to speak with me (the police officer) without an attorney being present?

The Miranda warning is given to protect a suspect's 5th Amendment right to remain silent. The State cannot compel a suspect to testify against himeslf/herself.

Miranda is required if the police engage in "custodial interrogation" of a suspect. That means the suspect must be in custody and the police must be trying to elicit testimony/a statement from the suspect.

An example: Police stop your car. Officer says "do you know why I stopped you?" You say: "Because I was speeding (or ran red light or I was drinking or something)." Cops can use your statement against you. No Miranda necessary because you are not in custody at the time.

But cop detains you and takes you to station. Wants to question you about your driving/activities/etc. Got to give you Miranda warning. And cannot question you unless you waive your rights and agree to talk.
It's the Miranda advisement..... the advisement you get when arrested and before questioning letting you know what your constitutional rights against self incrimination are. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law., etc..... So named after a court case in the 60's.
The requirement that a defendant be informed of his right to remain silent and to an attorney before being questioned by police

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