What amendments does Miranda case violate?

The Miranda case violated the 5th and 6th amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the Supreme Court ruled that the police must inform suspects of their constitutional rights before questioning them in custody. This ruling established the well-known “Miranda rights” that must be read to suspects.

What is the Miranda case about?

The Miranda case refers to the landmark 1966 Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. Ernesto Miranda was arrested for kidnapping and rape in Phoenix in 1963. After two hours of police interrogation, Miranda confessed to the crimes. At no point was he informed of his constitutional rights. Miranda’s lawyer argued this violated his 5th amendment right against self-incrimination and his 6th amendment right to an attorney. The Supreme Court agreed, ruling his confession invalid because he was not informed of his rights.

How did the Miranda case violate the 5th amendment?

The 5th amendment states that no one “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” By not informing suspects of their right to remain silent, the police were essentially compelling or forcing them to make self-incriminating statements. The Supreme Court ruled this was unconstitutional compulsion and a violation of the 5th amendment right against self-incrimination.

Key facts about the 5th amendment violation:

  • The police interrogated and obtained a confession from Miranda without telling him he had the right to remain silent.
  • This was compulsion since Miranda did not know he could choose not to incriminate himself.
  • The Supreme Court said this compelled self-incrimination violated the 5th amendment.
  • Police must now inform suspects they have the right to remain silent before custodial interrogation per Miranda.

How did the Miranda case violate the 6th amendment?

The 6th amendment guarantees the right to the assistance of legal counsel in criminal prosecutions. By not informing suspects of this right, the police were essentially denying them their 6th amendment right to a lawyer. The Supreme Court ruled this unconstitutional and a violation of the 6th amendment right to counsel.

Key facts about the 6th amendment violation:

  • The police interrogated and obtained a confession from Miranda without telling him he had the right to an attorney.
  • This violated his 6th amendment right to have counsel present during questioning.
  • The Supreme Court said this denial of counsel was unconstitutional.
  • Police must now inform suspects they have the right to an attorney before custodial interrogation per Miranda.

What were the key impacts of the Miranda case ruling?

The Miranda ruling had several important impacts on policing and interrogation procedures:

  • Established the Miranda warning/rights that must be read before custodial interrogation.
  • Made confessions/statements inadmissible in court if the Miranda rights are not given.
  • Forced nationwide changes in police training and interrogation practices.
  • Shifted the focus to informing suspects of their constitutional rights.
  • Fundamentally changed the dynamics of police interrogation in America.

What are the components of the Miranda warning?

The standard Miranda warning informs suspects of four key constitutional rights:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  3. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning.
  4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you by the court.

Police must read suspects their Miranda rights before any custodial interrogation. Suspects may choose to waive these rights and speak to police voluntarily. But if at any point they assert their rights, the interrogation must cease.

How are Miranda rights asserted?

There are two main ways suspects can assert their Miranda rights:

  1. Invoke the right to remain silent – They can state they wish to remain silent or do not want to answer any questions.
  2. Request an attorney – They can clearly state they would like to speak to an attorney before answering any questions.

Once Miranda rights are asserted, the interrogation must immediately stop. The police cannot continue questioning or attempt to get suspects to waive their rights until an attorney is present.

Can police still question suspects after Miranda rights are read?

Yes, police can still attempt to question suspects after reading them their rights. However, suspects can choose to assert those rights by:

  • Invoking the right to remain silent.
  • Asking for an attorney.

At that point, all questioning must stop until an attorney is present. If the interrogation continues after rights are asserted, any resulting statements will likely be inadmissible in court.

Are there any exceptions to the Miranda requirements?

There are a few exceptions where Miranda rights do not have to be read or a waiver obtained:

  • Public safety exception – Officers can question suspects without Miranda warnings if there is an immediate threat to public safety.
  • Undercover operations – Undercover officers do not have to give warnings when questioning suspects surreptitiously.
  • Routine booking questions – Basic biographical booking questions are exempt.

However, any incriminating statements obtained through these exemptions may still be inadmissible in court per Miranda requirements.

Are Miranda rights required for non-custodial questioning?

No, Miranda warnings only apply to questioning that occurs when a suspect is in police custody and not free to leave. Non-custodial questioning does not require Miranda rights, even if it occurs at a police station.

Determining whether a suspect is in custody depends on several factors:

  • If they have been formally arrested.
  • If they are physically deprived of freedom.
  • If they are interrogated in a police-dominated environment.
  • If they reasonably believe their freedom is restricted.

If none of those conditions apply, questioning police without Miranda is generally constitutional.

Does invoking Miranda rights imply guilt?

No. The Supreme Court has made clear that invoking the right to remain silent or asking for a lawyer cannot legally imply guilt. That would penalize suspects for asserting their constitutional rights. Prosecutors also cannot use it as evidence of guilt in court. Suspects have an absolute right to invoke Miranda without it being held against them.

Can minors understand and invoke Miranda rights?

Courts have generally held that juveniles aged 15-17 have sufficient comprehension to understand and validly waive their Miranda rights. Minors under 15 may require caution based on mental maturity and comprehension. Very young juveniles likely do not fully understand Miranda rights and cannot waive them.

Key factors in a minor’s Miranda waiver include:

  • Age
  • Education
  • IQ
  • Mental maturity
  • Prior experience with law enforcement

Police should take extra care ensuring juveniles fully comprehend their rights before any interrogation.

Can a Miranda waiver be withdrawn?

Yes. Suspects who initially waive their Miranda rights and agree to speak to police can withdraw that waiver at any time during the interrogation by clearly asserting the rights. For example, they can state:

  • “I don’t want to answer any more questions.”
  • “I want a lawyer.”

At that point, all questioning must immediately cease until counsel is obtained or the suspect re-initiates discussion.


The Miranda case established vital constitutional protections against compulsory self-incrimination and denial of counsel. While controversial at the time, the Miranda warning has become an essential pillar of the American justice system. It provides suspects with knowledge of their rights and prevents coercive interrogations that violate the 5th and 6th amendments. Over 50 years later, Miranda remains one of the Supreme Court’s most significant rulings shaping police procedures, interrogation practices, and the admissibility of confessions.

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