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Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney Miranda rightsIn 1966, the United States Supreme Court made a landmark ruling in the case of Miranda v. Arizona when it made a decision on how suspects are to be informed of their constitutional rights when they are arrested on felony or misdemeanor charges. Ernesto Miranda was arrested in 1963 on suspicion of kidnapping and rape. After a long interrogation, Miranda confessed to the charges and signed a statement that his confession was made willingly and knowingly and that he understood his legal rights. When his case went to trial, his lawyers discovered that he had not, in fact, been informed of his constitutional rights to remain silent, to be represented by a lawyer, and to have that lawyer present during the interrogation. This Supreme Court ruling is one of the most famous cases in U.S. history, and it has changed the way arrests and interrogations have been handled ever since.

Miranda Rights Are Constitutional Rights

Because of Miranda v. Arizona, police officers are required to inform you of your rights before they begin an interrogation. Though some police departments may use different wording, the basis of the statements must be the same. Most police departments will use a version of the following: “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 to you. Do you understand the rights that I have just read to you?” It must be established that the suspect is aware of his or her rights before any interrogation can occur.

Misconceptions About Miranda Rights

The point of the Miranda Warning is to inform suspects of the rights that are granted to them by the United States Constitution. This includes the right to protection against self-incrimination and the right to legal counsel. Some people have misunderstandings about their Miranda rights and what that means for their criminal cases.


miranda rights, police custody, Illinois criminal defense lawyerTechnically speaking, you are not given your Miranda Rights by having them read to you; you already have your Miranda Rights as a U.S. citizen. The term Miranda Rights has its origins in a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court Case known as Miranda v. Arizona. The court’s ruling gives anyone in police custody or facing potential criminal charges to be advised of their right against self-incrimination. The right to be protected against self-incrimination is also an element of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

If you are taken into police custody, what you are required to be given is a Miranda warning about those rights. The Miranda warning must include the following information:

  1. You have the right to remain silent,
  2. Anything you do say may later be used against you,
  3. You are legally entitled to speak with an attorney,
  4. If you are unable to afford an attorney, one will be provided for you at no cost.

The main the purpose of the Miranda warnings is to let an individual know that if they are in police custody, they have the right to remain silent. This must be communicated clearly to the individual prior to any questioning by law enforcement.