Archive for November 2011

NEW JERSEY LAWYERS REVIEW UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT DECISION REGARDING THE ADMINISTRATION OF MIRANDA WARNINGS PRIOR TO CUSTODIAL INTERROGATION OF A SUSPECT.

An important decision handed down recently by the United States Supreme Court further defines the scope of the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination in the context of Miranda warnings. Law enforcement is required to administer Miranda warnings prior to custodial interrogation. The actual language of the warning was recently addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case on appeal from the Florida Supreme Court. The argument on behalf of the defendant in that case involved the argument that law enforcement violated Miranda rights by not informing the defendant that he had a right to have an attorney present during questioning. The U.S. Supreme Court held that Miranda warnings do not require the use of any mandatory language or words. Instead, as “an absolute prerequisite to interrogation” an individual held for questioning “must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer present with him during interrogation.” If the warnings given to an individual reasonably convey the rights as required by Miranda then the constitutional requirement has been satisfied.

Legal Quote of the Week:

Hamlet: Confess yourself to heaven: Repent what’s past; avoid what is to come.

Shakespeare, Hamlet, III, 4, 1600-1601