When police arrest a suspect, the suspect is considered to be in custody. Because of the psychological power police can have over someone in custody, there are restrictions as to what the police can and cannot do in that situation. This includes questioning suspects while in custody. Questioning suspects in custody require Miranda Warnings, as follows:
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 appointed to you.
A Motion To Suppress Can Expose Inadequate Miranda Warnings
If the police do not properly give Miranda warnings prior to custodial interrogation, the evidence may be inadmissible at trial. The United States Supreme Court, in the Miranda decision, said that the warnings must be given “when an individual is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom by the authorities in any significant way, and is subjected to questioning, the privilege against self-incrimination is jeopardized. Procedural safeguards must be employed to protect the privilege.”
Pleading The Fifth
The right to remain silent is set forth in the Fifth Amendment. This right has been popularized in the phrase, “pleading the fifth.” The Miranda warning is designed to ensure that the suspect is aware of and understands his or her constitutional right to remain silent. Informing the suspect of his right to an attorney is another important aspect of the Miranda warnings. A suspect has a Sixth Amendment right to an attorney, which includes the right to have his or her attorney present during any questioning. If the suspect cannot afford an attorney, the suspect will have the right to have an attorney appointed at court, but will not have the right to the immediate appointment of a lawyer to sit with the suspect during questioning.
Miranda Warnings Must Be Understood
Not only must the Miranda warnings be given, but the suspect must understand them, and any waiver of the Miranda rights must be knowing, intelligent, and voluntary.
FBI Warnings Led To Miranda Warnings
Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Miranda, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had a practice of issuing warnings of the right to remain silent and the right to counsel. The Uniform Code of Military Justice also required that a suspect be warned of the right to remain silent.
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Attorney Daniel Gigiano’s office is located in Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio. If you have questions about this or other questions you need answered by an experienced criminal defense lawyer, please call Attorney Daniel Gigiano at 330-336-3330. Attorney Gigiano is your Medina criminal defense lawyer, defending adults and juveniles in Medina and surrounding counties.