Miranda Rights Law
The law of interrogation is complex and fact specific. If you believe
your rights have been violated we can help see to it that the police do
not benefit from the violation. Below is a brief synopsis of the law as it
relates to the subject area:
After a suspect has been informed of his or her rights, the police may
wish to ask the suspect questions. It is at this point that suspects must
invoke their right to remain silent and/or their right to have counsel
present. A suspect that does not invoke either right will be subject to
further questioning. Note that if the suspect gives a response to
questioning that is ambiguous but may be construed as invoking either
the right to remain silent or the right to counsel, the officers conducting
the questioning are not required to clarify the response, and may
continue questioning. Officers must stop all questioning only if there is
an unambiguous, unequivocal request for counsel.
Suspects must be informed of their Fifth Amendment rights once they
are in custody. Any statement made by a suspect in custody before he
or she is apprised of these rights will be inadmissible. Suspects must be
informed of the following:
There is no requirement that an officer use the precise language of the
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.
- You have the right to consult with an attorney and have an
attorney present during questioning.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one can be provided to you
before questioning at no cost.
Miranda decision. A warning is sufficient as long as it reasonably
conveys the above rights to the suspect, regardless of whether or not
the officer quotes the Miranda decision verbatim.
A suspect is only accorded the Miranda protections during a custodial
interrogation. Both elements (i.e., custody and interrogation) must be
present before the requirement that the warnings be given arises.
Interrogation is referred to as questioning initiated by law enforcement
officers either direct questioning or its functional equivalent. The term
interrogation refers not only to express questioning, but also to any
words or actions on the part of the police (other than those normally
attendant to arrest and custody, e.g., “routine booking questions”) that
the police should reasonably expect to elicit an incriminating response.
The Fifth Amendment only provides protection for suspects from being
forced to give testimony that is self-incriminating. Suspects may still be
forced to provide evidence that is not testimonial in nature. Thus
suspects may be forced to provide answers to booking questions, such
as name, address, and telephone number. Suspects may also be forced
to allow the taking of physical evidence such as voice exemplars,
handwriting samples, blood samples, hair samples, or evidence of
physical characteristics. Miranda rights law is incredibly complex and
has various nuances and exceptions.
For more detailed information regarding this area of criminal law,
contact our local office for help in your case. Also, you can browse the
social media site listing Matthew has on Google Plus which not only
gives the reader helpful information about when the police have to read
yo your rights in a criminal case, but also answers questions such as
does a police officer have to read me my rights when I am arrested for
DUI? and other useful articles.
Matthew J. Ruff, Esq.
Toll Free at 1-877-617-4485