The United States Supreme Court handed down a decision that has been historic in a case entitled the Miranda v. Arizona, in 1966Essentially, four cases made it to the United States Supreme Court with similar issues.  All cases involved interrogation by police in a closed room where the putative Defendant was cut off from the outside world.  In three of these cases, the Defendant signed statements that were admitted at trial and one of the cases involved oral statements admitted at trial.  Following the Miranda Case, whenever a person is taken into detention, that individual must be advised of their Fifth Amendment right against making any self-incriminating statements.  When the police question someone in custody, they must advise:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything that you say can and will be used against you.
  3. You have the right to an attorney.
  4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.

What Happens When the Police Fail to Advise you of Your Miranda Rights?

If police question a suspect in custody and fail to provide a Miranda Warning, statements made are not admissible to be used against the suspect in a criminal prosecution.  Evidence obtained in this manner or as a result of any statements made by the suspect are usually disallowed to be used.

When a suspect invokes his Miranda Rights?

After a suspect invokes his or her Miranda Rights, the police are required to stop questioning the suspect.  However, if the suspect re-initiates a conversation with the police, the police may again question the suspect.

Procedural History of the Miranda Case

The United States Supreme C ourt reversed the judgment of the Arizona Supreme Court.  They reversed the judgment of the New York State Court of Appeals (similar to the Supreme Court in other states) in the case of Vignera, reversed the judgment of the U.S. Courtt of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Westover, and affirmed the judgment of the Supreme Court of California in Stewart.

The Miranda case was argued on February 28, March 1, and March 2, 1966.  Miranda  was decided on June 13, 1966 by a 5-4 vote.  The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, which was joined by Justices Black, Douglas, Brennan, and Fortas.  A dissenting opinion was written by Justice Harlan and joined by both Justice Stewart and Justice White.  The dissenting opinion was partially written by Justice Clark.

What Should You Do If You Are Questioned by the Police?

If you are questioned by the police, it may be critical to have a criminal defense lawyer present, as you may be the target of an investigation or criminal prosecution.  Call the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC, and speak to an experienced criminal attorney to understand your rights.  Call (904) 990-8000 for a free initial consultation today.

About the author

Neil Weinreb is a licensed Florida attorney who has been practicing in the area of criminal law for over 17 years in North Florida.  Mr. Weinreb works for the Law Office of David M. Goldman in Jacksonville, Florida.  Mr. Weinreb has worked as an adjunct professor teaching law to paralegal students at Jones College in Jacksonville, Florida.  You can contact Mr. Weinreb at the Law Office of David M. Goldman for a free initial consultation.

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