What is the Miranda Warning?

The Miranda Warning is given by the police when they suspect someone of doing a crime. It is required by law that the police state these rights before any interrogation.

The Miranda Rights

  • You have the right to remain silent.
    • Anything you say or do 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 any 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 police are required to ask if you understand your rights, since the statement says, “Anything can be used against you”. This is important so you should always confirm that you do understand, that way, they can’t use your statements against you, either because you made a mistake, or were pressured by the police. Silence will not be taken as waiving your rights because the suspect might be mentally sick, or might not understand the English language well, so they usually have translations on hand.

This is made to protect the defendant so he doesn’t incriminate himself. Of course you can always waive your rights, but it is ill advised to do so unless you can defend yourself at court.

Your charges against you may be dismissed if the arresting officer did not state the warning; it is very important that you tell your attorney if they didn’t state it.