What are Miranda Rights?

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The Miranda rights are based on the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which protects individuals from self-incrimination. In the 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, the court ruled that any statements made by a suspect while in custody and under interrogation could not be used as evidence in court unless the suspect had been informed of their right to remain silent and their right to legal representation.

The court established the following warnings that must be given to suspects prior to interrogation:

  1. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
  2. “You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”

The Court held that “the prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination.” Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 479 (1966).

Additionally, the court established that if a suspect invokes their right to remain silent or their right to legal representation, the interrogation must stop immediately and cannot be resumed until an attorney is present or the suspect reinitiates the conversation. This decision has had a significant impact on law enforcement practices in the United States and is now widely known as “Miranda warning” or “Miranda rights”