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What are Miranda Rights and Warnings?

"Miranda" is derived from Miranda v. Arizona, the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case which declared that whenever a person is detained by police, they need to be informed of their rights according to the Fifth Amendment before questioning can begin. Suspects must be made aware of their right to not incriminate themselves during an interrogation.

The result of the case was that those in custody must be informed of four things before questioning:

  • They have the right to remain silent
  • Anything said can and will be used against them in a court of law
  • They have the right to an attorney
  • An attorney will be provided them if they are unable to afford one

Without proper Miranda warning, a statement or confession made by a suspect who has been taken into custody will be considered involuntary and cannot be used against the suspect in a criminal case. Evidence discovered in such an instance would likely be inadmissible in court.

What happens after the arrest?

When asked if the suspect understands their rights as stipulated in the Miranda warning, the suspect needs to give a clear answer in the affirmative. If the suspect does not speak English, a translated recording of their rights may be given.

In addition, if you are being questioned and in the middle of questioning indicate you do not wish to answer any further questions but instead wish to remain silent, questioning must stop.

Arrests can actually take place without a Miranda warning being given; however, this means police will not be able to question the suspect without first informing them of their rights.

If you have been arrested, call The Law Office of John J. Fox to retain skilled representation by San Antonio criminal defense attorney.