“By Gabriel L. Grasso

Do you know what your Miranda rights are? Miranda rights are your constitutional guarantee that if you are arrested and questioned as a suspect in a crime you have the right to remain silent. The Miranda rights also ensure that you understand that whatever you say can be used in court as evidence and that you have a constitutional right to speak to an attorney. In the event that you cannot afford an attorney, the court must assign one to your case at no charge to you. It is often advised that you seek the services of a trained and reputable Las Vegas criminal defense specialist n the event of an arrest. Your Miranda rights must be read to if you are in police custody before a police interrogation can take place.

Knowing Your Rights

The Miranda rights were created in 1966 after the Miranda vs. Arizona decision in which 22 year old Ernesto Miranda was arrested for allegedly abducting and raping an 18-year-old woman. After the victim identified him, Miranda was subjected to two hours of questioning after which he signed a confession admitting to the crimes. Miranda’s confession featured a typed paragraph on each page indicating that he completely understood his legal rights and that what he said could be used against him, but he was never verbally informed of his right to an attorney.

Miranda was brought to trial in June of 1963, where he was represented by his court appointed attorney, Alvin Moore. Moore argued that Miranda’s confession was inadmissible due to the fact that the plaintiff was never verbally informed of his rights. Miranda was ultimately convicted of his crimes and served two consecutive 20 to 30 year terms.  Moore sought to appeal Miranda’s case and was ultimately denied, but during this time the American Civil Liberties Union approached Moore about handling Miranda’s case. In 1965, John Flynn and John Frank wrote a petition arguing that Miranda’s Sixth Amendment rights had been violated.

The case made it to the US Supreme Court in February of 1966 where Flynn argued that Miranda’s right to counsel had been violated and that his 5th Amendment rights had been unlawfully violated. The trial lead to the Supreme Court ruling that a person being held in legal custody had the right to be clearly informed of certain specified rights.

If you find yourself in trouble with the law it is imperative that you understand that you have a right to STAY SILENT. Avoid saying anything and call your federal criminal defense lawyer to keep yourself out of trouble!