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Miranda v. Arizona

Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), was an important decision issued by the United States Supreme Court and was based on the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In the Miranda decision, the Supreme Court issued the rule that statements made in response to police questioning by a person relating to the subject matter of the questioning occurring after being taken into police custody are not admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution unless the government prosecutor can show that the person was informed of their right to remain silent, consult with an attorney and of the right against self-incrimination prior to law enforcement officers or government agents commencing questioning. Additionally, the person questioned must have understood and waived their Fifth Amendment Miranda rights.

The Miranda decision had significant impact on criminal investigations and police investigative techniques in the United States, by making what became known as the Miranda rights standard police procedure. The Miranda warning is also referred to a a Miranda advisement and is also used as a verb. (i.e., Has the suspect been Mirandized?)

Following the Miranda decision, the nation's police departments were required to inform arrested persons of their rights pursuant to the ruling. The Miranda rule requires that if the person who is questioned in custody indicates at any time prior to or during questioning, a desire to remain silent, the interrogation must cease. If the suspect requests an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. (As a practical matter, the police will not secure an attorney for the accused, the questioning will cease.)

Although Miranda was decided with three other consolodated cases, the Miranda warnings have taken their name from the defendant in the lead case, Ernesto Arturo Miranda. Miranda had been arrested by police on circumstantial evidence linking him to the kidnapping and rape of an 18-year-old woman ten (10) days earlier. After two hours of interrogation by police officers and detectives, Miranda signed a confession to the rape charge on forms that included the typed statement "I do hereby swear that I make this statement voluntarily and of my own free will, with no threats, coercion, or promises of immunity, and with full knowledge of my legal rights, understanding any statement I make may be used against me." However, Miranda was not informed of his right to counsel, was not advised of his right to remain silent, and was not told that his statements would be used against him during the interrogation. Based on the evidence against him, including the statement he made, Ernesto Miranda was convicted and sentenced to serve twenty (20) to thirty (30) years in prison.

Subsequently, Ernesto Miranda was retried in 1967. In the second trial the prosecution did not use Miranda's confession, instead relying on witness testimony and other evidence. Miranda was convicted a second time and sentenced to serve the same twenty (20) to thirty (30) year sentence. He was paroled in 1972 and returned to live his old neighborhood, earning a modest living autographing preprinted Miranda cards which contained the Miranda warning which was now required to be read to in custody suspects prior to police custodial interrogation. Four years after his release, Miranda was stabbed to death during an argument in a bar on January 31, 1976.

Subsequent to the Miranda decision, the United States Supreme Court decided Berghuis v. Thompkins (June 1, 2010). In Berghuis, the Supreme Court limited Miranda by issuing a new rule that criminal suspects who are aware of their right to silence and to an attorney who do not choose to "unambiguously" invoke their rights, may find subsequent statements treated as an implied waiver of their rights which may be used as evidence in a criminal prosecution.

Since Miranda was decided, police interrogators and law enforcement agencies have developed techniques get around Miranda. One such technique is for the law enforcement officers to delay actually arresting the suspect and proceed with questioning in that fashion. The questioning can proceed during a "consensual encounter" or a detention. In fact, the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement agencience utilizing their driving under the influence report forms are formated so that the questions designed at obtaining incriminating evidence are asked prior to the driver being handcuffed or placed in the confined backseat section of a police car. It is critical to remember that a person's Fifth Amendment rights pursuant to Miranda only apply if a person is in custody or its functional equivalent.

The full text of the Miranda decision is included for the reader's reference. It is divided into following eight parts:

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The stakes are always high in a California domestic violence case. An arrest for domestic battery, domestic assault, criminal threats or stalking in California may result in actual jail, large fines, mandatory 52 weeek batterer's treatment program, mandatory alcohol education classes, and other punishment. For that reason, it is important that you have only a qualified California criminal defense lawyer handling your domestic violence case from the beginning. If you or someone you know has been or may be accused of domestic violence, we invite you to read the information contained in this website and welcome you to call our office and discuss your case with a domestic violence lawyer. If you prefer, you may submit a confidential case questionnaire which will be reviewed by a member of our firm and receive a prompt response.

If you hire Robert Tayac to handle your domestic violence case, you will know your case is being properly handled by a knowledgeable, experienced, and trustworthy California criminal defense lawyer.

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Mr. Tayac represents clients who have been arrested in the following counties as well as other cities throughout California and can meet clients at one of several office locations in Northern California.


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