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Miranda Rights

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Definition - What does Miranda Rights mean?

If a suspect has been arrested the police are required to read them their Miranda Rights, specifically,

  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to an attorney
  • The right to an appointed attorney if they are unable to afford counsel

Miranda Rights do not have to be read if the suspect is not under arrest. Suspects who are not under arrest may be asked to answer questions, but these questions are considered voluntary and the suspect has the right to refuse to answer. If a suspect is at the police station they may leave without answering questions unless the police are ready to make an arrest. Questions made voluntarily to the police are generally admissible in court.

Attorneys warn suspects not to make statements prior to consulting with a criminal attorney because spontaneous statements are almost always admissible in court and frequently lead to the discovery of additional evidence against the suspect.

Miranda Rights may be less relevant in DUI cases because drivers are generally not arrested and asked questions until the police officer has completed a field sobriety test and administered a blood alcohol concentration test. Drivers who are stopped for DUI should refrain from voluntarily offering information about when and how much alcohol they have ingested.

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