What should you know about the Miranda warning?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

“You have the right to remain silent” – most of our readers in Virginia have probably heard this line in innumerable movies and TV shows over the years. But, it’s not just a movie line. It is actually part of what is commonly referred to as the Miranda warning that all criminal suspects are supposed to be notified of when they are arrested by law enforcement officials and subjected to questioning.

What should you know about the Miranda warning?

Miranda basics

The name “Miranda” part refers to the name of a U.S. Supreme Court case that was decided in 1966, in which the court referred to some of the requirements that law enforcement officials must adhere to before starting a custodial interrogation of a criminal suspect. The first part – the right to remain silent – is just one part. Suspects must also be notified that they have the right to speak with an attorney, have an attorney present when being questioned and that, if they cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided.

As some of our readers have probably guessed, these warnings are given to ensure that a criminal suspect is aware of his constitutional rights. The Fifth Amendment protects suspects from incriminating themselves – thus the notification of the right to remain silent. The Sixth Amendment protects a suspect’s right to counsel – thus the notifications about having an attorney.

The violation of a criminal suspect’s constitutional rights is one of the most common ways that criminal cases end up getting dismissed. And, there are many rights that might come into play in any given case. If you are facing criminal charges in Virginia, be sure to have the facts of your case analyzed for potential constitutional violations.