In the Philippines, we are so much fond of this teleserye “Ang Probinsyano”. Perhaps you already hear or encounter a police officer recite: “You have the right to remain silent. If you give up 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 desire an attorney and cannot afford one, an attorney will be obtained for you before police questioning.” This statement is generally known as “Miranda Rights.
You may be wondering as to where it did originate or how it started. To question as well, how it is designed to protect?
We got a case for Ernesto Miranda, who is he?
Miranda v. Arizona, a landmark US Supreme Court case. This is where Miranda Rights were derived from. Mr. Ernesto Miranda was caught stealing $8.00 from an Arizona bank worker. He was arrested and after two hours of questioning, he confesses more crime. Thus, not only robbery but to add kidnapping and rape to the list. When he was brought in for interrogation, he was not informed that he did not have to speak to the police. Nor he can seek first the assistance of a legal counsel or lawyer. Just confidently confessing the crimes he made and he was found guilty.
This case was later appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The Justices pronounced that the statement Miranda provided to the police hence cannot be used against him. It cannot be used as evidence against him because he was not informed about his constitutional rights. As a result, police are now required to recite the Miranda warning to suspects before any interrogation.
Further protection was recalibrated for the Miranda case and did not instill new rights. To expound Miranda warning, “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 speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.”
The supreme court ruling was to highlight these four key points to be clearly expounded:
The right to remain silent.
- are one of the safest things and your best friend whenever things go out of hand. A suspect who will state “my counsel has always informed me not to give any statements without him being present”. This term is known as “Pre-Miranda” silence.
Anything you say can be used as evidence against you in a court of law.
- the phrase is very self-explanatory. Arguing, defense lawyers contend that many innocent suspects get intimidated by arrest. Persons who are in fear during the interrogation may speak to the police without realizing the gravity of the danger.
You have the right to have legal counsel present.
- a defense counsel is part of our constitutional right. The person in question must be clearly informed that she or he is entitled to be represented by an attorney. Consequently, having a legal counsel during cross-examination. If the suspect plea for an attorney and the police questioned him after an arrest, the interrogation must be stopped.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be given to you.
- an attorney for those accused that cannot pay for their legal needs. We have Public Attorneys readily available for those less fortunate. Making sure that the accused has the right to be heard equally by a representation of counsel. Without this clause, the right to consult with an attorney could be forfeited and rendered pointless.
Miranda Rights in general
This promulgation is intended to make the accused aware of his constitutional rights. Any police officer can ask routine questions such as name, address, date of birth and any personal information, without reading the Miranda Rights. Protection being curated for any abuse during an arrest. Being aware of these rights can save you from any danger.