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What is the Miranda warning?


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Miranda warnings (also known as Miranda rights) was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case in 1966 of Miranda v. Arizona. Based on this court case, the Supreme Court made Miranda warning constitutionally required and to be read to the individual who is being arrested. It was developed to protect criminal suspects Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when being questioned by law enforcement officers. Therefore, it is the right of a person that is being arrested or in a custodial situation to remain silent in order to avoid self-incrimination and to have an attorney present during his/her questioning. This is important since it may be difficult for your attorney to suppress your confession or statement when your case goes to court.

Miranda warnings do not have to precisely match the exact wording as long as they adequately and fully convey the individuals right of silence. The typical Miranda warning is as follows:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present before any questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning. Do you understand these rights?

Miranda warning, which is read to you by an arresting police officer, doesn’t protect you from being arrested. However, failure by the arresting officer to read you your legal rights (that is, Miranda rights or warning) may cause any subsequent confessions or statements that is being used against you in court to be thrown out. In spite of this however, the arrest may still be legal and well-grounded.

Hence, Miranda rights or Miranda warning simply informs the persons in custody to realize that they do not have to talk or answer questions asked by law enforcement officers (has it is best to remain silent) and they have the right to the presence of an attorney. It is however not a violation of your legal rights when asked for identity information such as your name, address, date of birth and social security number since this is needed to establish your identity.

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