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Miranda Rights Essay

1328 words - 5 pages

Miranda Rights

     In this paper I am going to be discussing the Miranda rights. What they mean to you, what they entitle you to, and how they came to be used in law enforcement today. I am discussing this topic because, one it is useful to me as a police officer, two they can be very difficult to understand, and three if they are not read properly to you when you are placed under an arrest it could actually get you off. I will start off by discussing the history and some details of the Miranda case.

     Miranda came about in 1966, when a 23-year-old, name Miranda, was arrested and transported from his home to the police station for questioning in connections with a kidnapping and a rape case. Miranda was kind of poor and uneducated. At the station the police questioned him for two hours. After this two hours of questioning the police obtained a written confession that in turn was used in court against him. Miranda was undoubtedly found guilty.

     Miranda v Arizona went all the way to the Supreme Court. There the Supreme Court ruled that the police do have a responsibility to inform a subject of an interrogation of their constitutional rights. The constitutional rights have to do with self-incrimination, and the right to counsel before, during and after questioning.

     What does this mean to you? Well if you are ever arrested for being suspected of a crime, the police are legally obligated to advise you of your Miranda rights. If they do not do this and they start to ask you questions, and interrogate you, then anything you say cannot be used against you in court, and you could have the charges dropped. The police are not supposed to question you at all unless you have been read your Miranda rights and you then waive those rights. You can waive your rights either verbally tell the officer you waive your rights, or by signing a rights waiver form.

     The actual Miranda warning is very short and covers all of person’s rights. The actual Miranda warning is as follows:
1.     You have the right to remain silent.
2.     Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
3.     You have the right to an attorney and have him present with you while you are being questioned.
4.     If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning, if you wish.
5.     You can decide at any time to exercise these rights and not answer any questions or make any statements.
6.     Do you understand your rights?

To better understand the whole Miranda phrase each section (1 through 6) will be discussed in greater detail in the following paragraphs.

The phrase “You have the right to remain silent” pertains to the application of the Fifth Amendment. This means that during questioning you have the right to no answer any questions that might incriminate you of the crime. This prevents the prosecution from using statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, which originated...

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