Does an Arresting Office Have to Read Miranda Rights?
In 1966, the United States Supreme Court handed down the Miranda v. Arizona decision. It was the culmination of the criminal trial of a man named Ernesto Miranda, who had been arrested by the Phoenix Police. Miranda confessed, but it later turned out he hadn’t been advised of his right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment.
In their decision, the Supreme Court established the principle of “Miranda Rights.” This is familiar to anyone who has ever watched a police drama on television since 1966. “You have the right to remain silent” is the traditional opening line in the standard reading of a suspect’s rights after an arrest. The high court made this the nationwide standard, meaning Oklahoma Miranda rights are the same as New Hampshire Miranda rights.
The reason all this is now mandatory is because of the particulars of the Supreme Court decision.
Arresting office have to read Miranda rights now as a matter of law. The reason is because advising a criminal suspect of their rights demonstrates in court any evidence obtained by police through interrogation of the suspect was gathered without coercion and without violating that suspect’s rights under the Constitution.
Police already have wide latitude when interrogating a suspect. Giving them the ability to bypass someone’s rights during their investigation renders the Constitution powerless.
In their ruling, the Supreme Court carried through with the inevitable next step from the Gideon v. Wainright decision, which guaranteed criminal suspects representation at trial even if they couldn’t afford their own attorney. The Court must have noted Miranda was represented by a court-appointed lawyer. Their ruling that Arresting office have to read Miranda rights and that Oklahoma Miranda rights must be consistent with those in other states is therefore not all that surprising.
If police fail to “Mirandize” their suspect, they risk having all the evidence they gather during their interrogation thrown out as inadmissible.
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