Miranda v. Arizona was a 1966 supreme court case that established that a person’s legal rights much be read during their arrest. This is how the “Miranda warning” got it’s name. It was a very close case in which the supreme court voted 5-4 that a person’s rights must be read in order for any information the officers receive during or after the arrest to be used in court.
There are two main components to this warning. The first is a right to defense. A court appointed attorney may be provided to individuals if they do not or cannot provide their own legal representation. Speaking to an attorney may affect how the entire case is run. Individuals also have the right to avoid self-incrimination, meaning that individuals are not required to answer questions. A person may choose to waive these rights.
The spark that eventually resulted in this court decision was the “legal aid movement.” People, mainly from bar associations, became concerned that many accused individuals were not aware of their rights and therefore were divulging self-incriminating evidence that strengthened the prosecution’s case. This movement also included an effort to change how officers perform interrogations. This successful movement changed the way that arrests are handled in this country.
Other cases, such as Westover v. United States, Vignera v. New York, and California v. Stewart, continued to change the process of arrests. The Miranda warning law was slightly altered in 2010 in the Berghuis vs. Thompkins supreme court case. This plainly states that once the rights are stated, if the accused does begin to talk, anything they say can be used against them.
If you are looking for more information on legal and illegal arrests, visit the website of the Arizona DUI defense attorneys at Thompson & Volquardsen, P.C.