Many people have heard it in movies and television shows, but do they actually
know what the Miranda Rights mean?
The Miranda rights were established after a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court ruling
in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, declaring that any person must be
told their Fifth Amendment right to not make any self-incriminating statements
whenever they are taken into police custody.
The most common version of Miranda Rights looks like the following:
- 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 an attorney
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you
- Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?
- With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?
If a person indicates in any manner—at any time before or during
questioning—that he or she wishes to remain silent, the interrogation
must stop. If a person decides that he or she wants an attorney, the interrogation
must stop until legal representation is present. At that time, the person
must have an opportunity to confer with the lawyer and to have him or
her present during any subsequent questioning.
If law enforcement officers fail to make you aware of your Miranda Rights,
nothing said in response to a custodial interrogation can be used against
you. Furthermore, any evidence that is derived from that improper custodial
interrogation is also considered inadmissible in court. For example, if
the police fail to make you aware of your Miranda Rights and questioning
you leads them to illegal drugs, those drugs and the contents of that
interrogation are both inadmissible unless they can demonstrate that they
would have found the drugs without your statements.
What Should I Say When I’m Under Arrest?
People typically make the mistake of blurting out admissions in the heat
of the moment or allow the police to bait them into admissions. The best
thing to do is be polite, be cooperative, provide identification, and
say nothing other than to request an attorney. When they say “you
have the right to remain silent,” you should follow that advice.
If you have been arrested or a crime in Arkansas,
request a consultation with our Jonesboro criminal defense attorney at
Ford & Cook, PLC today.