Miranda Warnings

October 17th, 2022

What law provides Miranda Warnings

The Miranda warnings stem from the 5th amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America and, more specifically, the United States Supreme Court case of Miranda v Arizona

The Supreme Court held in Miranda v Arizona that the DA may not use statements stemming from custodial interrogation unless it proves that the person was explained their Miranda rights prior to questioning. 

Miranda Warnings

For over half a century, chances are every American watching TV has heard the Miranda Warnings. 

“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 the presence of an attorney, and if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you prior to any questing in.” 

Officers must administer this fundamental warning to every individual prior to questioning. 

What is the consequence of not administering the warnings

Any statement you make is inadmissible if a law enforcement official does not advise you of your Miranda warnings. The Supreme Court has continually upheld and enforced this fundamental right.

Can law enforcement continue to question after you invoke your rights?

In Edwards vs. Arizona, the defendant asked for a lawyer. The next day, law enforcement returned, read him his Miranda warnings, and obtained a voluntary confession. The Supreme Court held that when a defendant invokes his right to counsel, law enforcement cannot later return, read him his rights, then proceed with questioning. It does not matter if he is advised of his rights a second time and then waives them. Once a request for counsel is clearly claimed, all questioning, in any case, must immediately stop. 

The Supreme Court has watered this ruling down a bit. They ruled, in Maryland v Shatzer, that 14 days between the initial and second interrogation was sufficient to allow that second line of questioning, which led to a confession. 

Can law enforcement question about other cases after you invoke your Miranda rights?

No. The Supreme Court ruled that Miranda is not case-specific. In Arizona v Roberson, the court ruled that law enforcement cannot question him about any case after a defendant invokes his Miranda rights.

What constitutes invoking your Miranda rights?

To invoke your Miranda rights, it must be unambiguous. In Davis v US, the Supreme Court ruled that any invocation of the right to counsel must be clear and unambiguous. In this case, the defendant said, “maybe I should ask for a lawyer.” Agents asked if he was asking for a lawyer, he said he was not, and the statements were admissible. So you have to say, “I want a lawyer.”

If my Miranda rights are violated, is my case thrown out?

No. This is a question I answer several times a week. Any statement you make cannot be used against you if your Miranda rights are violated. The case will proceed, but that portion of the evidence is inadmissible. 

Keep in mind the laws and interpretations are continually changing. The above references laws in effect as of July 2022, based on the most recent ruling of the Louisiana Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court. As rulings come down from different courts and jurisdictions, these rules are apt to change. 

If you or someone you know has a question about Miranda warnings or whether your rights were violated, and wants to discuss this topic, do not hesitate to contact the law office of Larrion L. Hillman at 318-549-9810. Remember, this is not intended to be formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Larrion Hillman practices criminal defense in Caddo Parish, Webster Parish, Bossier Parish, Shreveport, and Bossier City, Louisiana. And remember, keep calm and let Hillman handle it.

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Bossier City, LA


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