Miranda Rights and The Fifth Amendment

Miranda Rights and The Fifth Amendment

“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?”
(The exact verbiage may vary slightly from State to State)

Yes folks it sounds just like in the movies

To utilize the full protections under the law the suspect must give a clear and concise “affirmative” answer to the question. Silence is not an automatic indicator of waiving these rights. This silence may be a sign that the suspect does not understand or speak the same language. If the Miranda warning is translated into another language most departments record this process. Refusing to speak or answer cannot be used to convict you by itself.

A person who is “in custody” must be read the Miranda Rights. This act protects the person’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The second section of the Miranda warning was designed to protect individuals Sixth Amendment rights. These Sixth Amendment rights are designed to address an individual’s right to counsel. This right is triggered not by the current custodial status but by whether the criminal charges have been filed.

Should the suspect indicate at any time prior or during the questioning process that they wish to remain silent, interrogations must cease. If the suspect states the wish to have an attorney present, the process must cease until an attorney is present. Suspects are allowed an opportunity under the law to confer with legal council during the interrogation/questioning process.

You must understand that law enforcement is only required to Mirandize a suspect that they intend to interrogate while in custody. Individuals may be arrested without a Miranda warning being issued. If interrogation is considered at a later time during the course of investigations the Miranda warning must be given at that time. Also is public safety is an issue a defendant may not be issued a Miranda warning during the course and scope of duty.

The bottom line for Miranda warnings they are protection from self-incrimination not protection from being arrested. The best time to work out your legal defense might be after evoking your right to remain silent. The pressure and stress of being questioned or interviewed is not a good place to operate from. Keeping silent is usually the best thing to do while in Police custody.

Always seek legal advice from an attorney.