In 1966, the United States Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that assured those accused of a crime the right to not self-incriminate. The term is called the Miranda Rights, and it is likely something you have heard before, whether it was during an arrest, or on the television or in a movie, where it is common. The saying goes, “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 an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you.”
The ruling was made following a serious of previous rulings regarding the case of Ernando Miranda, a man who was accused of abducting and raping a Phoenix woman in 1963. Miranda allegedly confessed to the crime, but later took back his statements, only after learning that he did not have to say anything or admit to the crime. He was initially convicted of the crime, but the American Civil Liberties Union became aware of the case and filed an appeal, stating that the confession was coerced and false.
The case then went to the Supreme Court, which overturned the conviction. Miranda was eventually retried and convicted again in October of 1966, but not after lending his name to a very important right of any American arrested and accused of a crime.
If you have been arrested under the suspicion of drunk driving or on drug charges, it is important to understand that you do not have to speak to authorities. You also have the right to an attorney to help defend your case. If police protocol is not followed during an arrest, you may be able to have the case dismissed. It might be in your best interests to speak with a lawyer familiar with criminal law to learn how to proceed.
Source: History.com, “1966 – The Miranda Rights are established,” Accessed on July 14, 2017