The Supreme Court decision known as the Miranda Rule gave Americans under arrest the right to remain silent until they are able to speak with a defense attorney.
This landmark decision protected the rights of citizens from breaches of procedure and abuse of power that might arise while citizens are in custody. The Miranda Rule requires police to inform detainees of their legal rights before interrogating them and to abide by a set of procedural standards.
ORIGIN OF THE MIRANDA RULE
Miranda v. Arizona was a landmark decision released June 13, 1966, by Chief Justice Earl Warren, of the U.S. Supreme Court, who penned the majority opinion. The decision ruled in favor of Ernesto Miranda, one of four petitioners in a rape case. Miranda was (later) acquitted of the rape charge, as were two other defendants. The ruling declared a set of specific rights for criminal defendants, including that law enforcement officers must inform anyone arrested for a criminal act about their rights before they may be interrogated. The ruling also prepared a set of rules governing the behavior of enforcement personnel.
Said Justice Warren, “The cases before us raise questions that go to the roots of American criminal Jurisprudence: the restraints society must observe consistent with the Federal Constitution in prosecuting individuals for a crime. More specifically, we deal with the admissibility of statements obtained from an individual who is subjected to custodial police interrogation and the necessity for procedures which assure that the individual is accorded his privilege under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution not to be compelled to incriminate himself,” the decision began.
WHAT “MIRANDA” MEANS FOR YOU
If you, a family member or friend have been arrested, be aware that the Miranda Rule offers protections under the law. It’s important to use the rule to protect against inadvertent self-incrimination. You have the right to remain silent and should avoid making any statements before consulting with an attorney or without an attorney present on your behalf.
Protect your rights by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney who can advocate for you, spot mistakes in police procedure that may have bearing on your case, and represent you in court.
If you have questions about legal matters, speak with an attorney. Don’t assume that you should represent yourself because you consider the charges a “little matter.” Drug charges, drinking-and-driving offenses, and crimes against persons or property can carry with you for a lifetime and affect your ability to get a job, hold a job, secure a loan or even maintain a good credit rating.