Many of us in Kansas City have a somewhat vague understanding of our “Miranda Rights.” For example, we may have seen police tell a person, “You have the right to remain silent,” in movies or on television. However, it is important to understand the extent of these rights, should you find yourself in a position where you need to invoke them to protect your civil rights.

Origins of “Miranda Rights”

Our “Miranda Rights” can be found in the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona. In this case, the Court held that if a person is in the custody of the police and is being questioned, that they must be made aware that the Fifth Amendment gives them the right to remain silent and protects against self-incrimination and the Sixth Amendment gives them the right to have an attorney present during questioning. It is important to note that just being arrested does not mean you will be read your Miranda rights. Miranda warnings are necessary only if you are being interrogated.

The exclusionary rule and Miranda waivers

If police fail to give a person a Miranda warning any statements made cannot be used against them in a subsequent trial. This is known as the “exclusionary rule.” However, it is important to note that Miranda rights can be waived, and if the waiver is valid the exclusionary rule does not apply.

Seek help if you have questions about your Miranda rights

Ultimately this post does not contain legal advice and is for informational purposes only. If you have further questions about your Miranda rights, it is important to discuss your information with a legal professional, so you can have a better understanding about how the law applies to the facts of your case.