‘You Have the Right to Remain Silent’

Here’s the “did you know” for the day: on June 13, 1966 — 41 years ago today — police adopted the use of “Miranda Rights,” they now read before any possible questioning of suspects.

Here’s an interesting tidbit of how it came about (courtesy of wikipedia). In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested for kidnapping and rape. He gave a confession and was convicted, but it was overturned by the supreme court because he didn’t understand his rights not to incriminate himself.

He was later tried and — using witness testimony instead of the confession — convicted. However, he was later killed in a knife fight. And guess what? His killer invoked his Miranda rights and refused to talk to police.

Here’s what cops say when you are being “Mirandized:”

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 an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you at interrogation time and at court.

19 thoughts on “‘You Have the Right to Remain Silent’

  1. Poetic justice I guess.

    I know this goes against growing up with Dragnet and just the facts.


    I never understood why Constitutionally if a cop asked a crook if he robbed that bank and he said yea I did , why that confession was not legal under the constitution.

    Is the belief that the cop wearing a gun is intimidating therefore the confession is forced?

  2. Rhoades confession before being informed of her Miranda rights was accepted in Kitsap Superior Court last year. I found that different from other cases I have followed in other counties. That is one reason, we all need to know about the kind of Judges we are electing.

  3. Consiracy theories aside….. The police do not have to inform someone of their Miranda Warnings in every instance before they talk to them. In fact, there are only a very few circumstances in which they have to do so. I have seen many non-Miranda confessions that are perfectly legal and admissible in court.

  4. The Miranda requirement is not triggered upon arrest. Miranda warnings are required when two factors exist: interrogation and custody.

    That is, if law enforcement is not asking a suspect questions, they are not required to read the suspect his Miranda warnings. Should the suspect volunteer statements (when not being questioned), those statements are admissible even though Miranda warnings were not read to him.

    If the suspect is not in custody, law enforcement may question the suspect without providing Miranda warnings. The question of custody is determined by a reasonable person standard. The most simple example would be telephonic contact with a suspect. In that situation, Miranda would not be required because the suspect is not in custody.

    Washington Criminal Court Rule 3.5 provides that a pre-trial hearing take place to determine whether a confession is admissible and applies these tests.

  5. My attorney has told me if I ever have any kind of contact with law enforcement 1. Be polite. 2. Agree to speak to them with my attorney present. In all fairness I think everyone that is in that situation should be told they have that right. There are times when things said one way, are heard in a different context. There are many people that do not have a clue that they have this right.

  6. “any kind of contact”

    Wow, this is a little extreme. It’s going to be pretty hard (and expensive) to report your house being broken into, or the reckless driver on your street, or complain about the fireworks going off at all hours of the night if you have to wait for your hired mouthpiece to show up and make sure that anything you say or do doesn’t incriminate you somehow. Perhaps better advice would be to know your rights and use a little common sense as to when to apply them. I’m pretty sure that 99% of contacts with police don’t require an attorney being present. If you think you might say something that will get you in trouble……..just don’t say it.

    And your attorney probably gave you that advice because he likes getting your money. With the dozens of police shows that have been on television over the past 30 years I really doubt that very many people are not aware of their right to remain silent.

  7. DRC, personally I think that if someone has an attorney on their speed dial, obviously they have had their fair share of run-ins with the law….DUI, children removed by CPS, etc. I have only dealt with the police twice on a personal level. I was speeding. Though I was polite (which may be the reason why I didn’t get a ticket either time), but I most certainly didn’t request an attorney. I was guilty and I don’t make excuses for my behavior.
    I totally agree with you DRC, that there are very few people that don’t know their right to remain silent. Those that don’t need to come out from underneath the rock they are living under. However, if you follow the rules, then you don’t need to worry.

  8. Hey, heres a suggestion for Elaine … The next time that someone is breaking into your house at 3:00 in the morning, or jacking your car with your child belted in the back seat— Call your lawyer, not the cops!!

  9. You all got me on that one. I tend to forget when I am writing I need to be more literal so others that do not know me understand what I am really meaning. I tend to assume that all people have some common sense. CMC spouse there are many reasons a person may need an attorney such as probate matters or insurance settlements ect. mine just happens to be a friend. That is a huge advantage when it comes to the fees most others pay for their legal issues. I also have been pulled over for speeding and did not try to bat my baby blues to get out of a ticket. I simply was taught a lesson. Slow down. As for my DUI you missed that one, as for CPS, that can happen to anyone that crosses paths with someone that is vindictive and files false reports. Believe me this happens a lot. As for my house being broken into at 3 AM I would definetly call the police then it is possible I would call my attorney considering the last break in involved the going through a lot of legal and personal information. Identity theft these days is hard to recover from and an attorney can help.

  10. Elaine,
    Feeling guilty? I’m so happy for you that you have a “friend” that has been able to get you out of your DUI issue, your CPS situation, and all your other personal/criminal matters that seem to follow you.
    I personally don’t need an attorney. I don’t drink and drive. NEVER have! I call a cab. CPS is more then welcome to come to my home at any given time. As for my only run-ins with the law, I made no excuses to the officers just like I posted before. In 1998, I was given a warning and then again in 2005. I didn’t plead the 5th, or request an attorney, or make some sad sorry excuse. Though I didn’t beg for the ticket, I did admit to my “mistake” and those officers made the decision to only give me a warning.

  11. CMC Spouse no I am not feeling guilty. if I had anything to hide or feel guilty about I would not have shared some very personal nightmares in my life on a blog. CPS was more than welcome in my home also They still are. I am not in this blog to be personally attacked by you or anyone else. My family has suffered enough from attacks from angry selfish vindictive persons. I have had some experiences that others out there can relate to. They are many that read this blog. If I can help anyone in a tough situation I am willing to help. Also due to some bad experiences I have gone to bat in helping make changes to hopefully prevent anyother child or family endue what mine have endured. And it was a very productive year in the legislature. Now a new law goes into effect that making false reports could land that person in jail. Criminal attorney’s may get very busy here in Kitsap.

  12. CMC Spouse–Elaine has nothing to feel guilty about. In her first post she was only explaining what her attorney has told her when she encounters being questioned by the police in a situation that would not be, shall we say “the norm”. I am certain that she would not go to the extreme of contacting her attorney before talking with the police because of a burglary of her place, etc. Many of you read too much into her post.

    I am sure there are many people in this world, when in a difficult situation, do not realize they should not say anything without an attorney present. They may be innocent and they are trying to explain what happened. However, unbeknownst to them, they may have said something they should not have said.

    I hope you never need an attorney, however, there are many people out there that are good people that do end up needing one. As far as having CPS show up on your doorstep, I suggest you read some on the entries in regards to this and perhaps you will change your tune or perhaps have an attorney in the wings, just in case.

  13. Michele,
    The point I was trying to get across to Elaine was she has an excuse for everything. Her DUI wasn’t her fault. CPS removing her children wasn’t her fault. The case of the woman allowing her child to drown was just a “mistake.” The list just goes on and on. It’s always someone else’s fault. As you have read I’m not the only one frustrated with her excuses.
    As for CPS – they have one heck of a difficult job. As a professional who has had to report true cases of abuse to them, I know how hard they work. They don’t remove children just because the milk in the frig has expired by a day or two. They don’t remove children just because someone called in being vindictive as Elaine stated. Children are removed for their safety. Oh sure when you have friends like she does, CPS will investigate, but they must have had a darn good reason for taking her children away. Like I posted before, CPS is more then welcome at my home 24/7. They will never have a reason to remove my child. Never have and never will.

  14. CMC spouse. I have never said once nothing was my fault or stated an excuse. I found it odd that CPS had a blood alcohol level before blood got to a lab!! How could you know who what kind of friends I have? These attacks from you are really showing ignorance in the way you read things. This blog I am sure was not intended for the purpose of disputes. I also work in a capacity that I have contact with social workers and many governmental officials. Yes some are hard working and honest and just as in any other realm of the workforce there are some that do not. In that instance as Senator Stevens put it “One bad apple spoils the whole bushel”. As for vindictive reports there are many. Some of these false report come in as good intended possibly from someone such as say a teacher or other professional. They are believed investigated and in a great many of these cases are as far fetched as they can be. I would appreciate if you refrained from further derogatory comments concerning me since you have absolutely no knowledge as to who I am, how I live or whom I associate with.

  15. Just curious Elaine, when you were arrested for the DUI did you submit to a breath test? I’m wondering because it is pretty easy to get the results of the test if you have a relationship with law enforcement or the prosecutors office as I’m sure CPS does. Yours was a while ago but these days when someone is arrested for DUI they are ordered to appear in court on the next business day and the BAC is of course always part of the proceeding which is open to the public. The blood test however takes weeks to get back.

  16. TJ no I was never arrested there was never a breathalyser only a blood test at about 8PM. It was several years before I came across the CPS report citing the blood alcohol results dated the day the blood was drawn. Their office closes at 5PM. pretty suspicious!! It is water under the bridge and life moves forward. This was just an example I wrote so that if anyone has contact with CPS for whatever reason they are aware that these honest mistakes happen. Kind of like a guy’s mental health documents that were admitted into evidence. Same name as my ex-husband but no relation. No release signed by either for these confidential records. another honest mistake that can happen. I will be very limited on my blogging for a while due to upcoming litigations.

  17. Elaine,
    I can safely assume my last blog was to harsh because it wasn’t posted. I hope this one makes it, because I’m tired of not only you (and by the other posted comments I’m not the only one thinking this way) but society blaming everyone else on their problems. Why can’t you just take full responsibly for your actions?
    You were drinking and driving. Closed case. Look, nobody has a prefect life, but you seem to be so angry with everyone for all your bad choices. Some of which could have easily been avoided: drink – don’t drive. I don’t dislike you. I believe you have made some very bad judgement calls and hopefully one day you’ll be able to see that we all choose the life we live. If we make bad choices then you have to live with that and not blame others. Every morning when you wake up,it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to break the law or follow the law. That alone is a simple choice.

  18. Chris A. I believe you have missed the point of my post. I did take responsibility and the DUI was dismissed. End of story.

  19. A somewhat humorous aside that I can see myself falling into is a quote from a well known comedian:
    “I had the RIGHT to remain silent, but I didn’t have the ability”

    Thought a smile was in order on this subject.

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