Miranda v. Ariz.

384 U.S. 436, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694, 1966 U.S. LEXIS 2817, 10 Ohio Misc. 9, 36 Ohio Op. 2d 237, 10 A.L.R.3d 974



In the context of custodial interrogation, once warnings have been given, the subsequent procedure is clear. If the individual indicates in any manner, at any time prior to or during questioning, that he wishes to remain silent, the interrogation must cease. At this point he has shown that he intends to exercise his Fifth Amendment privilege; any statement taken after the person invokes his privilege cannot be other than the product of compulsion, subtle or otherwise. Without the right to cut off questioning, the setting of in-custody interrogation operates on the individual to overcome free choice in producing a statement after the privilege has been once invoked. If the individual states that he wants an attorney, the interrogation must cease until an attorney is present. At that time, the individual must have an opportunity to confer with the attorney and to have him present during any subsequent questioning. If the individual cannot obtain an attorney and he indicates that he wants one before speaking to police, they must respect his decision to remain silent.


Miranda was arrested at his home and brought to a special interrogation room where he signed a confession which contained a typed paragraph stating that the confession was made voluntarily with full knowledge of his legal rights and with the understanding that any statement he made might be used against him. He was not informed of his right to remain silent or his right to have counsel present. At his trial in an Arizona state court, the confession was admitted in evidence and he was convicted of kidnapping and rape. On appeal, the Supreme Court of Arizona affirmed the lower court’s decision. The case was elevated by writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States.


Is the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination violated when a suspect is interrogated in custody without being informed of his right to remain silent and to have counsel present?




As a constitutional prerequisite to the admissibility of statements made under custodial interrogation, the suspect must, in the absence of a clear, intelligent waiver of the constitutional rights involved, be warned prior to questioning that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed. Evidence obtained as a result of interrogation cannot be used against a defendant at trial unless the prosecution demonstrated the warnings were given, and knowingly and intelligently waived. The confession of Miranda which was obtained without having appraised him of his rights to remain silent and counsel violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and cannot be admitted into evidence against him.

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