What are Miranda rights and what do they mean?

Miranda rights, also known as Miranda warnings, are a set of legal rights that must be explained to individuals in the United States who are in custody and about to be interrogated by law enforcement officials. These rights are derived from the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, specifically the protection against self-incrimination.

The Miranda rights originate from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona (1966). The court ruled that before a custodial interrogation, law enforcement officers must inform individuals of the following rights:

  1. The right to remain silent: Individuals have the right to refuse to answer any questions posed by law enforcement. Anything they say can be used against them in court.
  2. The right to an attorney: Individuals have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. If they cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for them.

The purpose of Miranda rights is to ensure that individuals are aware of their constitutional rights and are not coerced or forced into self-incrimination. By informing individuals of these rights, it is intended to safeguard their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

It is important to note that Miranda rights only apply to custodial interrogations, which means the person must be in police custody and subject to questioning. If an individual is not in custody or not being interrogated, the Miranda warning may not be required.

If law enforcement fails to provide Miranda warnings when required, any statements or confessions made by the individual during the custodial interrogation may be deemed inadmissible as evidence in court. It is important to work with an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. Wester Law Office has experience in defending all types of criminal charges. We will work to be sure that you receive a fair trial. Call our office at 281.766.4878 to book a free consultation.

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