A review of Miranda Rights

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2023 | Criminal Law |

Most people are familiar with the phrase “Miranda Rights,” which is the standard speech given when someone is arrested. The Fifth Amendment and Miranda Rights are often used interchangeably but the laws that make up what we know today as “Miranda Rights” are actually a combination of the Fifth and the Sixth Amendments.

Miranda warnings

Miranda Warnings come from the Supreme court’s ruling in Miranda v. Arizona. These warnings are generally broken down into four parts:

  1. You have the right to remain silent
  2. If you speak, anything you say can and will be used against you in criminal court 
  3. You have the right to be represented by an attorney
  4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you

While the first two parts of the case law are derived from the Fifth Amendment, the last two are an application of the Sixth Amendment. 

Rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment

A portion of the Fifth Amendment is the right to remain silent. This right is vitally important because it protects the rights of citizens and their freedom. However, there are several other rights guaranteed in the Fifth Amendment, such as the right to “due process of the law” before being deprived of freedom, the right to compensation if the government takes private property for public use, and the right to a grand jury. 

The Double Jeopardy Clause

One clause- the Double Jeopardy Clause– doesn’t necessarily guarantee a right to have something, but the freedom from something. This clause, which prohibits individuals from being tried more than once for the same offense, provides an extra layer of protection to the rights of the person on trial. If an individual is found guilty or acquitted of a particular crime, they can’t be put on trial for the same offense.

For example, if a person is on trial for the crime of first-degree murder, the jury must decide if that person is guilty or not guilty. If the jury decides on a verdict of not guilty, then the prosecutor cannot bring them to trial for the same crime with the charge of manslaughter. However, while it is illegal to prosecute an individual more than once for the same crime, separate states can prosecute a person in their own jurisdiction and federal charges can be brought in addition to state charges.