Miranda Rights

Miranda rights are given to anyone detained by the police informing them of their constitutional rights before being interrogated. It falls under the category of the Bill of Rights. Since 1966, after the Supreme Court ruling in Miranda v. Arizona, law enforcement in the United States is obligated to read the rights to any person placed in custody by the constitution.

The following are warnings required to be given to a suspect in custody prior to interrogation:

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 be speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning
If you cannot afford a attorney, one will be provided for you at government expense
Do you understand these rights? Do you wish to speak to the police at this moment in time?

If a potential suspect’s Miranda rights are not read or violated at any point of the investigation the charges may potentially be dropped. For example, when a suspect in custody is interrogated without properly being advised and of their rights and exposes information which may lead to incriminating evidence against the suspect, then any statement that is made, while detained is potentially excluded from the case in a court of law.

If you have been charged with a crime and believe your Miranda rights were not read to you, you may have a right to pursue legal action. A knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer can help determine if the charges and rights against you have been violated.

Dickerson V. United States
Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The Fourth Circuit

No. 99-5525. Argued April 19, 2000--Decided June 26, 2000 In the wake of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U. S. 436, in which the Court held that certain warnings must be given before a suspect's statement made during custodial interrogation could be admitted in evidence, id., at 479, Congress enacted 18 U. S. C. §3501, which in essence makes the admissibility of such statements turn solely on whether they were made voluntarily. Petitioner, under indictment for bank robbery and related federal crimes, moved to suppress a statement he had made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, on the ground he had not received "Miranda warnings" before being interrogated. The District Court granted his motion, and the Government took an interlocutory appeal. In reversing, the Fourth Circuit acknowledged that petitioner had not received Miranda warnings, but held that §3501 was satisfied because his statement was voluntary. It concluded that Miranda was not a constitutional holding, and that, therefore, Congress could by statute have the final say on the admissibility question.

Held: Miranda and its progeny in this Court govern the admissibility of statements made during custodial interrogation in both state and federal courts. Pp. 2-14.

(a) Miranda, being a constitutional decision of this Court, may not be in effect overruled by an Act of Congress. Given §3501's express designation of voluntariness as the touchstone of admissibility, its omission of any warning requirement, and its instruction for trial courts to consider the totality of the circumstances surrounding the giving of the confession, this Court agrees with the Fourth Circuit that Congress intended §3501 to overrule Miranda. The law is clear as to whether Congress has constitutional authority to do so. This Court has supervisory authority over the federal courts to prescribe binding rules of evidence and procedure. Carlisle v. United States, 517 U. S. 416, 426. While Congress has ultimate authority to modify or set aside any such rules that are not constitutionally required, e.g., Palermo v. United States, 360 U. S. 343, 345-348, it may not supersede this Court's decisions interpreting and applying the Constitution, see, e.g., City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U. S. 507, 517-521. That Miranda announced a constitutional rule is demonstrated, first and foremost, by the fact that both Miranda and two of its companion cases applied its rule to proceedings in state courts, and that the Court has consistently done so ever since. See, e.g., Stansbury v. California, 511 U. S. 318 (per curiam). The Court does not hold supervisory power over the state courts, e.g., Smith v. Phillips, 455 U. S. 209, 221, as to which its authority is limited to enforcing the commands of the Constitution, e.g., Mu'Min v. Virginia, 500 U. S. 415, 422. The conclusion that Miranda is constitutionally based is also supported by the fact that that case is replete with statements indicating that the majority thought it was announcing a constitutional rule, see, e.g., 384 U. S., at 445. Although Miranda invited legislative action to protect the constitutional right against coerced self-incrimination, it stated that any legislative alternative must be "at least as effective in appraising accused persons of their right of silence and in assuring a continuous opportunity to exercise it." Id., at 467.