Miranda Rights

Phoenix DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyer“MIRANDA RIGHTS” Q and A

In theory…If you are not read your “Miranda Rights” it a violation of your rights; and your confession or statements can not be used as evidence against you.

“What are the ‘Miranda Rights’?”

Among a host of other fundamental civil rights, the Arizona Phoenix police must inform you of your “right to remain silent” and the “right to an attorney” following an arrest for a Phoenix DUI or Criminal Charges. The reading of your rights upon arrest is called reading your “Miranda Rights” also known as the “Miranda Warning”, “Miranda” to inform suspects of their legal rights. This reading of legal rights takes place after the arrest, but before any questioning or interrogation takes place regarding the Phoenix DUI or criminal charges for which you have been arrested.

Do “Miranda Rights” apply only in Phoenix Arizona DUI or Arizona criminal arrests?

No. The “Miranda Rights” defense can be argued in all states in the USA. Arizona is the state in which the landmark criminal case involving the Miranda Rights began over 4 decades ago. However, following an appeal process, the case was heard in the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was overturned, in favor of the defendant due to the “Miranda Rights” defense. Therefore, it is considered to be Federal Case Law used for argument throughout USA courts where applicable. The police and law enforcement officials throughout the USA adopted the reading of the “Miranda Rights”. The purpose is to advise a defendant of their rights following arrest; and to protect the prosecution’s interest in prosecuting and convicting defendants, by making it less likely used as a basis for defense.

What is the language in the “Miranda Warning”?

Language in the Miranda Rights: “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?”

“Where do the “Miranda Rights” Come From?”

Miranda Rights basically evolve around the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution which includes the “right to remain silent”; and the 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution the “right to an attorney” before any questioning or interrogation takes place. This applies only if a suspect has been arrested and taken into custody for criminal or DUI charges but before any interrogation or questioning regarding the suspects potential involvement in the crime for which they were arrested. The “Miranda Rights” also known as “Miranda Warning”, “Miranda” or “Mirandize” must be read aloud to the suspect by arresting police or law enforcement officials, but prior to any interrogation or questioning related to the criminal charges.

“What happens if the Miranda Rights are not read?”

For decades, much controversy and legal challenges have surrounded the “Miranda Rights” by the courts, prosecuting attorneys, defense lawyers, legal scholars, and verdicts throughout the country. These controversial arguments and opinions are for too many and extensive for this article. But in theory, if you are not read your legal rights, (“Miranda Rights”) after your arrest and prior to interrogation or questioning, then any answers or confessions can not be used against you by the prosecution. To use a suspect’s confession in absence law enforcement reading the Miranda Rights warning would be considered a violation of rights, allowing the criminal defense to use argue that the suspects constitutional rights were violated and therefore, the confession or answers they gave during interrogation must not be used against them. If other evidence against the defendant is weak, or there is no other evidence found to convict them, then their criminal defense attorney would use compelling arguments that would most likely lead to a dismissal of the criminal charges.

“Why Are They Called the “Miranda Rights”?

History of “Miranda Rights”: The “Miranda Rights” name originates from a Landmark criminal case that began in Arizona: U.S. Supreme Court Landmark Case Miranda v. Arizona in 1966. In brief, a defendant by the name of Ernesto Miranda was arrested and charged with serious crimes in 1963 in the state of Arizona. During several hours of interrogation regarding his involvement in the crimes, Ernesto Miranda made a confession of guilt in the crimes. However, at no time, following his arrest or interrogation was he informed by police or law enforcement officials of his legal rights or constitutional right to “remain silent” and or his “right to an attorney” to be present in his defense during the questioning and interrogation.

As a result of Ernesto Miranda’s own confession, and self-incrimination, he was convicted of the crimes, based primarily on his confession and statements he made during the interrogation. After receiving a very harsh prison sentence, he appealed his conviction.

In June of 1966 the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Lower Arizona Court's decision by granting Ernesto Miranda a new trial. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, ruled that detained criminal suspects, prior to police questioning, must be informed of their constitutional right to an attorney and against self-incrimination. Therefore, he was granted a new trial for the charges, but his initial confession was not allowed to be used or admitted as evidence against him.

Thus, the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court gave rise to the term "Miranda Rights” to be used when someone is arrested and accused of a crime, and prior to interrogation or questioning in order to inform them of their legal rights.

Ernesto Miranda was eventually found guilty in the retrial and convicted of the initial crimes based on the strength of other evidence used against him in the retrial. He sentenced from 20 to 30 years in prison for the crimes he was arrested for in 1963.

Extended Ernesto Miranda History:

The remainder of Ernesto Miranda’s life was plagued with crime and misfortune. He was released on parole from state prison in 1972. After violating his parole, he was sentenced to return to prison. He was released from prison a year later and went to work as a delivery driver. However, during a card game he was playing at a local Arizona bar January 31, 1976 a violent fight broke out. Then, the 34 year old Miranda received what proved to be a fatal knife wound during the bar fight. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Arizona’s Good Samaritan Hospital.

The person suspected of stabbing and killing Ernesto Miranda, the only murder suspect, was arrested. However, ironically, the murder suspect chose to utilize his “Miranda Rights” and to “remain silent” following his arrest by Arizona police. The murder suspect was later released from custody. He supposedly fled the country, never to be found or tried for the murder of Ernesto Miranda. The case was closed without ever apprehending the murderer of Ernesto Miranda.

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