MIRANDA WARNING AND THE WAIVER OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
The Miranda Warning, also referred to as Miranda rights, stems from the landmark case Miranda v. Arizona, in which the US Supreme Court ruled that an elicit self-incriminating emission without notifying the suspect of his or her rights is a violation of an individual’s constitutional rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the US Constitution. As a result of this case, the Miranda Warning has become standard protocol whenever law enforcement takes a person into custody. The standard Miranda Warning includes:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say or do can and will be held 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.
- Do you understand these rights I have just read to you?
An individual taken into custody has the right to waive his or her rights, and opt to proceed without legal counsel and/or make a self-incriminating statement to police.
New Jersey Criminal Defense Law Firm
Even if an individual has waived his or her constitutional rights, his or hercriminal defense lawyer may still be able to suppress statements in court as the definition of “waive” can be ambiguous. Does waive mean an express statement by the individual that he or she understands his or her rights and the consequences of waiving them, or can a waiver be inferred by law enforcement or the prosecution? In order for the court to accept an individual’s waiver of rights, the individual must voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently waive his or her rights before any statement or confession may be admissible in a court of law.
In the State of New Jersey, it is the burden of the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual was read and waived his or her rights. A mere statement by law enforcement is not enough to prove that the individual was read and knowingly waived his or her constitutional rights. Either an eyewitness or a video recording of the statement being given is enough to suffice.
If you have been arrested and taken into custody, consult a criminal defense lawyer who can knowledgeably counsel you in your constitutional rights and preserve your defenses.
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