In every cop movie you see, you know when you hear the officer say, “Read him his rights”, that the person in question is about to be arrested. Well, this is true in real life too. Continue reading to learn about these rights, and where they originated.
What Are My “Miranda Rights” And What Are They For?
The Miranda Rights are basically an explanation of your right to remain silent before being questioned. Because the exact phrasing of the official “Miranda Rights” isn’t depicted in the Supreme Court’s history of decision making, local law enforcement stations have created their own version and style of the Miranda Rights, covering the basic statements that need to be read to the person being charged. An example goes something like this:
1. You Have The Right To Remain Silent.
Everyone knows this one, right? The courts position is this:
“At the outset, if a person in custody is to be subjected to interrogation, he must first be informed in clear and unequivocal terms that he has the right to remain silent.”
2. Anything You Say Or Do Can Be Held Against You In A Court Of Law.
And the Court’s position is this:
“The warning of the right to remain silent must be accompanied by the explanation that anything said can and will be used against the individual in court.”
3. You Have The Right To Have An Attorney Present Now And For Any Future Questioning.
And the Court says:
“…the right to have counsel present at the interrogation is indispensable to the protection of the Fifth Amendment privilege under the system we delineate today. … [Accordingly] we hold that an individual held for interrogation must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation under the system for protecting the privilege we delineate today.”
4. If You Cannot Afford an Attorney, One Will Be Appointed To You Free Of Charge.
What does the Court have to say? They Say This:
“In order fully to apprise a person interrogated of the extent of his rights under this system then, it is necessary to warn him not only that he has the right to consult with an attorney, but also that if he is indigent a lawyer will be appointed to represent him. Without this additional warning, the admonition of the right to consult with counsel would often be understood as meaning only that he can consult with a lawyer if he has one or has the funds to obtain one.”
The Court continues by declaring what the police must do if the person being interrogated indicates that he or she does want a lawyer…
“If the individual states that he wants an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. At that time, the individual must have an opportunity to confer with the attorney and to have him present during any subsequent questioning. If the individual cannot obtain an attorney and he indicates that he wants one before speaking to police, they must respect his decision to remain silent.”
Can A Person Be Arrested WITHOUT Being Read Their Miranda Rights?
The answer, Indiana, is yes. The Miranda Rights aren’t used to protect you in any way from being detained and charged. It is simply an informative script warning you of what your rights are at that moment, because when you are being arrested, you don’t continue to have all the normal rights of a person not in question. Police only need a little thing called, “probable cause” to detain a person. Basically just a good-enough reason mixed with events and facts that leads cops to believe the person has committed an offense. The only time Miranda Rights are required to be read, is before interrogation sessions.
Where Did Our Miranda Rights Originate From?
The history of where the Miranda Rights came from is not pretty. It is named after a man from Arizona that was convicted of rape almost 50 years ago. His name, Ernesto Miranda. He was arrested on a theft charge for suspicion of stealing $8 from a bank employee. He was also suspected of a series of recent rapes, kidnappings, and robberies in the area. The story goes that he was never offered a lawyer during the two hour questioning session, where he admitted of raping an 18 year old girl a week prior, and of the robberies. He was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in jail. But during the trial process, his lawyers argued about his rights being violated because he was never informed of his right to remain silent, even though he signed legal documents attesting he understood his legal rights. In 1966, the Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Miranda’s rights were violated because he was never told of his right to remain silent. He was awarded a second trial but was still convicted. But that is where the phrase, “Miranda Rights”, originates from.