Miranda Rights Law and Legal Definition
Miranda rights are specific rights that any person who is taken into police custody is entitled to. Law enforcement officers are required to inform a suspect in custody of their Miranda rights. Miranda warnings are often given verbally upon arrest and on paper before a written confession is taken. Failure to adequately provide a Miranda warning can make any statements made by that suspect inadmissible in court.
In the landmark decision MIRANDA V. ARIZONA, the U.S. Supreme Court set standards for law enforcement officers to follow when attempting to interrogate suspects whom they hold in custody.
Suspects who are subject to custodial interrogation must be notified that they have the following Miranda rights:
1) they have the right to remain silent;
2) any statements that they make may be used as evidence against them;
3) they have the right to an attorney; and
4)if they cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them prior to any questioning, if they so desire.
Under Miranda, unless those warnings are given, no evidence obtained during the interrogation may be used against the accused. Confessions and other information that a suspect provides to the law enforcement will not be admissible or usable in court unless the suspect has been made aware of his/her "Miranda rights". Miranda warnings were mandated by the 1966 United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Miranda v. Arizona in order to protect a criminal suspect's Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination during police interrogation.