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  • Writer's pictureNISHEA DUKES

Miranda Rights: What You Need To Know & How It Applies During An Arrest

Miranda rights, also known as Miranda warnings, are a set of rights that must be provided to individuals in custody or under interrogation by law enforcement officers. The rights are derived from the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and are designed to protect individuals from self-incrimination. Here's an explanation of Miranda rights and how they apply during an arrest:


What are Miranda rights?

Miranda rights are a set of warnings that inform individuals of their constitutional rights when they are in custody and subject to interrogation. The typical phrasing of Miranda rights includes:


a. The right to remain silent: This means that you have the right to refuse to answer any questions posed by law enforcement.


b. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law: This statement emphasizes that statements made by the individual during the interrogation may be used as evidence against them in a criminal trial.


c. The right to an attorney: You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one may be appointed for you.


d. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you: This statement emphasizes that if you cannot afford an attorney, the state will provide you with one free of charge.

Miranda rights

When do Miranda rights apply? Miranda rights apply when two conditions are met:


a. Custody: Miranda rights are triggered when an individual is in custody, meaning they have been deprived of their freedom of movement to a degree associated with formal arrest. However, Miranda rights may also apply in certain non-custodial situations if the individual is subjected to significant restraints on their freedom or if they reasonably believe they are in custody.


b. Interrogation: Miranda rights apply when the individual is subjected to questioning or interrogation by law enforcement officers. Interrogation refers to any conduct by the police that is reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response from the individual.


Consequences of not being read Miranda rights: If an individual is taken into custody and subjected to custodial interrogation without being read their Miranda rights, any statements made during that interrogation may be deemed inadmissible as evidence in a criminal trial. However, it's important to note that Miranda rights do not automatically invalidate an arrest or the charges themselves.


Waiving Miranda rights: If an individual is properly read their Miranda rights and understands them, they have the choice to waive these rights and answer questions or make statements voluntarily. It is advisable to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to waive your Miranda rights.


It's important to remember that Miranda rights apply in the context of the United States legal system and may have specific variations or additional requirements depending on the jurisdiction. If you have concerns about the application of Miranda rights in your specific situation, it is best to consult with a criminal defense attorney who can provide guidance based on the laws applicable to your case.

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