«You have the right to remain silent. If you give up 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 and to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you at no cost. During any questioning, you may decide at any time to exercise these rights, not answer any questions or make any statements. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you? »
The Miranda warning or Miranda rights, is a right to silence warning given by police in the United States to criminal suspects in police custody (or in a custodial interrogation) before they are interrogated to preserve the admissibility of their statements against them in criminal proceedings.
The Miranda warning is part of a preventive criminal procedure rule that law enforcement are required to administer to protect an individual who is in custody and subject to direct questioning or its functional equivalent from a violation of his or her Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.
In Miranda v. Arizona (1966), the Supreme Court held that the admission of an elicited incriminating statement by a suspect not informed of these rights violates the Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, through the incorporation of these rights into state law. Thus, if law enforcement officials decline to offer a Miranda warning to an individual in their custody, they may interrogate that person and act upon the knowledge gained, but may not use that person's statements as evidence against him or her in a criminal trial.
The concept of "Miranda rights" was enshrined in U.S. law following the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona Supreme Court decision, which found that the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of Ernesto Arturo Miranda had been violated during his arrest and trial for armed robbery, kidnapping, and rape of a mentally handicapped young woman (Miranda was subsequently retried and convicted, based primarily on his estranged ex-partner, who had been tracked down by the original arresting officer via Ernesto's own parents, suddenly claiming that Ernesto had confessed to her when she had visited him in jail; Ernesto's lawyer later confessed that he 'goofed' the trial).
The circumstances triggering the Miranda safeguards, i.e. Miranda rights, are "custody" and "interrogation". Custody means formal arrest or the deprivation of freedom to an extent associated with formal arrest. Interrogation means explicit questioning or actions that are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response. The Supreme Court did not specify the exact wording to use when informing a suspect of his/her rights. However, the Court did create a set of guidelines that must be followed. The ruling states:
The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he/she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court; the person must be clearly informed that he/she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he/she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent him/her.
Every U.S. jurisdiction has its own regulations regarding what, precisely, must be said to a person arrested or placed in a custodial situation. The typical warning states:
· You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions.
· Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
· You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
· If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.
· If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.
· Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?
The courts have since ruled that the warning must be "meaningful", so it is usually required that the suspect be asked if he/she understands their rights.
Ernesto Arturo Miranda (March 9, 1941 – January 31, 1976) was a laborer whose conviction on kidnapping, rape, and armed robbery charges based on his confession under police interrogation was set aside in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, which ruled that criminal suspects must be informed of their right against self-incrimination and their right to consult with an attorney before being questioned by police. This warning is known as a Miranda warning.
After the Supreme Court decision set aside Miranda's initial conviction, the state of Arizona retried him. At the second trial, with his confession excluded from evidence, he was again convicted.