Under the Fifth Amendment, everyone has the right not to incriminate themselves. However, to ensure that suspects understand their rights, the police must read the Miranda warning before interrogation. In most cases, the police are required to do it, regardless of the circumstances. However, exceptions are possible for some severe crimes, such as terrorism.
Mandatory Use of Miranda Warning
Reading the Miranda warning to a suspect before interrogation became mandatory after Miranda v. Arizona (1966). Regardless of the circumstances, the police must acquaint the suspect with his rights and make sure that the person understands them. Pavlenko et al. (2019) emphasize that a suspect’s understanding of his rights during interrogation is a prerequisite for accepting statements as evidence of guilt or innocence. Otherwise, any information obtained during the interrogation may be considered invalid and rejected.
While it is mandatory in most cases to read the Miranda warning at the time of arrest or before interrogation, there are circumstances where the police are not required to read the Miranda rights. One example is when the police do not “interrogate about an existing crime” (Any exceptions when reading Miranda rights?, n.d., para. 2). In addition, the Miranda warning is often not read to terrorist suspects because their crimes are associated with an increased threat to public safety. Larson (2018) notes that if a suspect remains silent after charges are filed, but before Miranda rights are announced, silence can be used as evidence of guilt. Therefore, the use of such tactics is possible in certain circumstances.
Thus, the police must read Miranda rights to suspects so that their statements can be used as evidence in court. However, disclosure of the right to remain silent is not required in some cases. Such exceptions are related to the absence of interrogation for an existing crime or those suspected of serious crimes such as terrorism. In a widespread threat to public safety, not having to read Miranda rights may allow the police to obtain additional information necessary for the investigation.
Any exceptions when reading Miranda rights? (n.d.). Web.
Larson A. (2018). What are your Miranda rights? Expert Law. Web.
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).
Pavlenko, A., Hepford, E., & Jarvis, S. (2019). An illusion of understanding: how native and non-native speakers of English understand (and misunderstand) their Miranda rights. International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, 26(2), 1-21. Web.