Miranda vs. Arizona was a case that considered the rights of the defendants in criminal cases in regards to the power of the government. Individual rights did not change with the Miranda decision, however it created new constitutional guidelines for law enforcement, attorneys, and the courts. The guidelines ensure that the individual rights of the fifth, sixth and the fourteenth amendment are protected. This decision requires that unless a suspect in custody has been informed of his constitutional rights before questioning anything he says may not be introduced in a court of law. The decision requires law enforcement officers to follow a code of conduct when arresting suspects. After an arrest is made, before they may begin questioning they must first advise the suspect of their rights, and make sure that the suspect understands them.
These rights are known as the Miranda Warnings and include: 1. You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. 2. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
3. You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during any questioning now or in the future. 4. If you do not have an attorney available, you have the right to remain silent until you have had an opportunity to consult with one.
5. If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to have one appointed for you. If the suspect refuses his right to an attorney, they may begin questioning him. If he / she decides invoke their right to remain silent, the police may not question the suspect, however they may at a later time attempt to question him again. If the suspect requests an attorney, questioning may not begin until the attorney had arrived and the suspect has had an opportunity to consult with him. If a suspect cannot afford an attorney the courts must appoint on for them, if they face a possibility of imprisonment.
Until an attorney is assigned to their case and they have had an opportunity to consult with him, the police may not begin any questioning. If a police officer fails to advise a suspect of their rights, they may still arrest the individual. The Miranda rights only apply to statements made in response to police questioning in regards to the suspect making the confession. This decision has affected law enforcement by how they may interrogate suspects.
They may no longer coerce a confession; it must be given out of free will with the knowledge that it will be held against him. Law enforcement officials feel like they are working with their hands tied behind their backs making their job more difficult. Cases have not been solved due to a lack of evidence and the difficulties involved in obtaining confessions. The impact on the courts has been minimal.
They have dropped very few cases where suspects were not advised of their rights before questioning. The courts are becoming more sensitive to law enforcement, allowing for variations of the warnings, instead of the exact words.