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Understanding the Miranda Rights – Part One

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’ve probably heard this statement a time or two before. From television shows to movies, whenever anyone gets arrested, the police officer says this to the person getting handcuffed. While we hope you’ve never had to hear this warning, it’s essential that you’re aware of it. This warning has to do with your Miranda Rights. When you are getting arrested, you’re supposed to get a Miranda warning to help protect you under the 5th Amendment. If you’re not aware, then the 5th Amendment has to do with not incriminating yourself and remaining silent.

At Roselle & Breitigam, P.C., we strive to provide you with the necessary information you need to protect your rights. You may not always have a criminal lawyer on your side to help protect your rights, so it’s essential that you know everything possible about Miranda Rights and why you need to be aware of what you say to an officer when you’re in custody. Keep in mind that police officers aren’t your enemy, but you need to know how to protect yourself. Miranda Rights are one way you can do that. If you’re not sure how the Miranda Rights can protect you or help you, then continue reading our blog to get the details about this warning because it’s not as straightforward as Hollywood would like you to believe.


The Miranda Rights are always up for discussion. Whether it’s the popularity due to shows such as Law & Order or numerous other forms of entertainment, there are some false ideas about these rights. Basically, Miranda Rights emanated during the Miranda V Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 Supreme Court Ruling. This ruling laid out everything you need to know to protect yourself when you’re in custody or getting arrested. Here’s what Miranda Rights do for you:

“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 with a lawyer and have that lawyer present during interrogation; if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you; you can invoke your right to be silent before or during an interrogation, and if you do so, the interrogation must stop. You can invoke your right to have an attorney present, and until your attorney is present, the interrogation must stop.” – Miranda Rights

These rights protect you from incriminating yourself or saying something that can be construed as evidence. The 5th Amendment details that no person should be accused of a crime without a presentment or an indictment by a grand jury. This means that you cannot self-incriminate or participate in double jeopardy and decrees due process of the law.


In 1966, Miranda V Arizona Supreme Court decision was announced. The ruling found that the 5th and the 6th Amendment rights had been violated during the arrest and subsequent trial of domestic violence for Ernesto Arturo Miranda. The Supreme Court never specified the words that every cop had to use when informing a person of their rights when they are a suspect, but they did implicate guidelines that needed to be followed when someone was getting arrested. Since the Supreme Court didn’t specify the words that needed to be spoken verbatim, there are more than 800 different version of the Miranda warnings throughout the United States. Essentially, what the Supreme Court ruled is that a person who is a suspect had to be informed of their rights, so a case isn’t compromised. However, due to a number of factors, even if an officer of the law read your rights, some people don’t fully understand what they are being told. This is why it’s important that you hire a criminal lawyer who can fight for your rights.


There are some times that the Miranda Rights don’t apply. Every person living in this country has rights, but there are two basic prerequisites prior to when the police have to issue a Miranda warning to a suspect. The first is when the suspect is already in police custody and the second is when the suspect is under an interrogation by an officer. Just like understanding Miranda Rights, it’s essential that you understand the prerequisites. If you aren’t in police custody and you aren’t being interrogated both formally, then the officer doesn’t have to give you a warning, this means that the police can use anything you say during this information situation against you.

While understanding your Miranda Rights might be a little confusing, these are essentially the basics you need to know to keep yourself protected. If you’ve been arrested or you need an attorney to help you out of a sticky situation, then call on a criminal lawyer from Roselle & Breitigam, P.C. We deal with DUI, drug charges, domestic violencestudent crimes, and more. We’re here to help protect your rights.

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