Miranda Warning Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Miranda Warning, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Miranda Warning?

(n) Doctrine of Miranda warning pre-supposes the rights of a person before he or she is subjected to arrest or interrogation, like right to remain silent, right to legal counsel and right to be informed that his/her statement will be used against him/her in the court. This rights were derived from the US supreme court ruling in Miranda v. Arizona (1964) hence named after Miranda.

History and Meaning of Miranda Warning

The Miranda warning is a fundamental principle of United States law that requires law enforcement officials to inform criminal suspects, who are in their custody, of their basic constitutional rights before they are interrogated. These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to consult with an attorney, and the right to have an attorney present during questioning. The Miranda warning was established with the famous United States Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona in 1966.

Examples of Miranda Warning

  1. During an arrest, a police officer tells a suspect, "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 for you."
  2. A suspect is brought into an interrogation room and a detective begins questioning. Before questioning begins, the detective reads the suspect their Miranda rights, informing them of their right to remain silent and right to legal counsel.
  3. A suspect is in custody, and before they are questioned, they are read their Miranda rights. They waive their rights, electing to speak to the police without an attorney present.
  4. During a court hearing, the defense attorney argues the statement their client made to the investigators should be suppressed as the police did not properly read the accused their Miranda rights after the arrest.
  5. A suspect is arrested and taken to the police station, and the police fail to read their Miranda rights, the accused can argue their confession or statement should be suppressed, as they were not aware of their legal rights.

Legal Terms Similar to Miranda Warning

  1. Custodial Interrogation - when law enforcement officers detain a person and ask them questions likely to elicit an incriminating response.
  2. Self-Incrimination - when a person makes a statement that implicates themselves in a crime.
  3. Fifth Amendment - a provision in the U.S. Constitution that protects against self-incrimination.
  4. Sixth Amendment - a provision in the U.S. Constitution that guarantees the right to counsel in criminal cases.