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What are your Miranda Rights?

by | Mar 26, 2019 | Bail Bond | 0 comments

Basically, the Miranda Rights explain, in easy-to-understand terms, a suspect’s legal rights while in police custody. The Miranda rights began right here in Arizona, in the turbulent 1960s. Phoenix Police Department officers arrested Ernesto Miranda in connection with an earlier kidnapping and murder. He eventually signed a confession as well as a written waiver of his rights. But that waiver was not good enough for the Supreme Court. In a narrow 5-4 ruling, the Justices held that officers’ failure to inform Miranda of his rights before questioning was a fatal error.

Interestingly, in 2010’s Berghuis v. Thompkins, the Supreme Court ruled that suspects who do not unambiguously assert their rights waive them. Some people believe that Berghuis gutted Miranda. But that’s the subject of another blog.

If officers fail to read suspects their rights, the cases could be thrown out of court and carry additional legal repercussions to other parties involved.

What are the Miranda Warnings?

Miranda is still a very controversial decision. The Miranda rights apply when custodial interrogation begins. But that’s a very vague phrase. Typically, custodial interrogation begins after officers start asking questions and before officers make an arrest. Additionally, custodial interrogation is subjective. Some people immediately ask officers if they are free to leave, and others wait around awhile.

As mentioned, the Miranda warnings summarize a defendant’s rights in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. These rights include:

  • Remaining silent,
  • Consulting with a lawyer,
  • Obtaining a court-appointed lawyer, and
  • Stopping questioning at any time and asking for a lawyer.

There is no Miranda rights “script” per se’. As long as officers communicate all these points to defendants and the defendant understands the rights, the court usually admits any evidence the defendant provides. That usually involves a confession or statements implicating other people. If it is believed that a police officer has crossed the line and simply implied a right but did not make it clear, then the evidence they obtain, especially something like a confession, is not as reliable.

Why Are Miranda Rights Important?

Miranda rights are important because otherwise, police officers could hold people indefinitely without lawyers and question them until they provided information. That kind of police behavior may be acceptable or unacceptable practiced in other parts of the world, but it is not legal in America.

The Miranda warnings are especially important in certain cases. People like Ernesto Miranda may not speak English very well and they may be unfamiliar with American police procedures or the Miranda rights “script”. They may also have never taken high school civics in the United States, so they may not clearly understand or know they have these rights and they may also not know how to assert them.

At Sanctuary Bail Bonds we understand that people in America can come from many different backgrounds and histories. Our bail bonds location in Phoenix and professional bondsman serve clients throughout the state of Arizona and are sensitive to cultural needs and differences. To learn more about the justice system, or to get out of jail fast, call us today for a free bail bond consultation or to learn more about bail bonds visit our page FAQ-page. Call us 24/7 365 at (602) BAIL-247 or (602) 224-5247


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