Posted: September 4th, 2022



ntroduction to Criminal Justice


Chapter 5 

List the problems faced by today’s police departments that were also present during the early days of policing.

Chapter 6 

Intelligence-led policing is considered to be the newest initiative in law enforcement. Read this article  (Links to an external site.)

 and discuss the following:


What is intelligence?

2. What are the differences between tactical and strategic intelligence?

3. How can police departments blend intelligence with problem-oriented policing?

Chapter 7

Can a search and seizure be reasonable if it is not authorized by a warrant?

Chapter 8

What is the purpose of the 
Miranda warning?


n the landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona (1966), the Supreme Court held that suspects in custody must be told that they have the following rights if they are subjected to interrogation:

They have the right to remain silent.

If they decide to make a statement, the statement can and will be used against them in a court of law.

They have the right to have an attorney present at the time of the interrogation, or they will have an opportunity to consult with an attorney.

If they cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them by the state.

The police must give this information—collectively known as the

Miranda warning

—to a person in custody before questioning begins.

Miranda warning

Miranda v. Arizona established that suspects under arrest must be advised that they have no obligation to answer questions and that they are entitled to have a lawyer present during questioning, if necessary, at no expense to themselves.

Some suspects choose to remain silent. However, simply remaining silent is not the same as invoking Miranda protection. As the Supreme Court recently decided, if a suspect does not assert his or her Miranda rights and makes a self-incriminating voluntary statement in response to police questioning, that statement can be used in court.95 To enjoy the benefits of Miranda, then, the suspect must state that he or she intends to remain silent. Also, the suspect can insist on having counsel present.

A suspect’s constitutional rights under Miranda can be given up (waived). A suspect can choose to talk to the police or sign a confession. However, for the waiver to be effective, the state must first show that it was voluntary and that the defendant was aware of all of his Miranda rights. People who cannot understand the Miranda warning because of their age, mental handicaps, or language problems may not be legally questioned without an attorney present. If they can understand their rights, they may be questioned.96

Once the suspect asks for an attorney, all questioning must stop until the attorney is present. And if the criminal suspect has invoked his or her Miranda rights, police officials cannot reinitiate interrogation in the absence of counsel even if the accused has consulted with an attorney in the meantime.97 This rule was recently modified to some extent; it doesn’t apply if the suspect has been released from custody for at least 2 weeks.98

Even if the suspect has invoked his Miranda rights and demanded an attorney, the police can question the offender about another, separate crime (as long as they give the Miranda warning for the second crime as well). For example, say a person is arrested on burglary charges and requests an attorney. The next day, police question him about a murder after reading the suspect his Miranda rights. He decides to waive his rights and confesses to the murder without a lawyer being present. The murder confession would be legal even though the suspect had requested an attorney in the burglary case, because they are two separate legal matters.99

The Miranda Rule Today

The Supreme Court has used case law to define the boundaries of the Miranda warning since its inception. Although statements made by a suspect who was not given the Miranda warning or received it improperly cannot be used against him in a court of law, it is possible to use illegally gained statements and the evidence they produce in some well-defined instances:

If a defendant perjures himself, evidence obtained in violation of the Miranda warning can be used by the government to impeach his testimony during trial.100

At trial, the testimony of a witness is permissible even though her identity was revealed by the defendant in violation of the Miranda rule.101


For more information about Miranda v. Arizona, visit

Initial errors by police in getting statements do not make subsequent statements inadmissible. A subsequent Miranda warning that is properly given can cure the condition that made the initial statements inadmissible.102 However, if police intentionally mislead suspects by questioning them before giving them a Miranda warning, their statements made after the warning is given are inadmissible in court. The “Miranda rule would be frustrated were the police permitted to undermine its meaning and effect.”103

Over the years, the Supreme Court has decided a number of cases that have both limited and expanded the reach of Miranda. Indeed, a new Miranda decision is handed down nearly every term. See the “

Evolution of Miranda v. Arizona

” feature for a summary of several of these important decisions.

The Impact of Miranda

After Miranda was decided, law enforcement officials became concerned that the Supreme Court had gone too far in providing defendants with procedural protections. Subsequent research indicates that the decision has had little effect on the number of confessions obtained by the police and that it has not affected the rate of convictions.104 It now seems apparent that the police formerly relied too heavily on confessions to prove a defendant’s guilt. Other forms of evidence, such as witness statements, physical evidence, and expert testimony, have generally proved adequate to win the prosecution’s case. Blaming Miranda for increased crime rates in the 1970s and 1980s now seems problematic, given that rates are down and Miranda is still the law.105

Critics have called the Miranda decision incomprehensible and difficult to administer. How can one tell whether a confession is truly voluntary or has been elicited by pressure and coercion? Aren’t all police interrogations essentially coercive?106 These criticisms aside, the Supreme Court is unlikely ever to reverse course. In the 2003 case of Dickerson v. United States, for example, the Court made it clear that the Miranda ruling is here to stay and has become enmeshed in the prevailing legal system.107 In that case, the Court invalidated a federal statute enacted shortly after the Miranda decision that said any confession could be used against a suspect if it was voluntarily obtained.

Evolution of Miranda v. Arizona

Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Any person subjected to custodial interrogation must be advised of his or her Fifth Amendment right to be free from compelled self-incrimination and to have the assistance of counsel.108

Fare v. Michael C. (1978) The Miranda warning applies only to the right to have an attorney present. The suspect cannot demand to speak to a priest, a probation officer, or any other official.109

New York v. Quarles (1984) A suspect can be questioned in the field without a Miranda warning if the information the police seek is needed to protect public safety. For example, in an emergency, suspects can be asked where they hid their weapons.110 This is known as the

public safety doctrine


Qregon v. Elstad (1985) Admissions made in the absence of Miranda warnings are not admissible at trial, but post-Miranda voluntary statements are admissible. A post-Miranda voluntary statement is admissible even if an initial incriminating statement was made in the absence of Miranda warnings.111

Colorado v. Connelly (1986) The admissions of mentally impaired defendants can be admitted in evidence as long as the police acted properly and there is a preponderance of the evidence that the defendants understood the meaning of Miranda.112

Moran v. Burbine (1986) An attorney’s request to see the defendant does not affect the validity of the defendant’s waiver of the right to counsel. Police misinformation to an attorney does not affect waiver of Miranda rights.113 For example, a suspect’s statements may be used if they are given voluntarily, even though his family has hired an attorney and the statements were made before the attorney arrived. Only the suspect can request an attorney, not his friends or family.

Colorado v. Spring (1987) Suspects need not be aware of all the possible outcomes of waiving their rights for the Miranda warning to be considered properly given.114

Minnick v. Mississippi (1990) When counsel is requested, interrogation must cease and cannot be resumed until an attorney is present.115

Arizona v. Fulminante (1991) The erroneous admission of a coerced confession at trial can be ruled a harmless error that would not automatically result in overturning a conviction.116

Davis v. United States (1994) A suspect who makes an ambiguous reference to an attorney during questioning, such as “Maybe I should talk to an attorney,” is not protected under Miranda. The police may continue their questioning.117

Chavez v. Martinez (2003) Failure to give a suspect a Miranda warning is not illegal unless the case becomes a criminal issue.118

United States v. Patane (2004) A voluntary statement given in the absence of a Miranda warning can be used to obtain evidence that can be used at trial. Failure to give the warning does not make seizure of evidence illegal per se.119

Missouri v. Seibert (2004) Miranda warnings must be given before interrogation begins. The accused in this case was interrogated and confessed in the absence of Miranda warnings. Miranda rights were then read, at which point the accused “re-confessed.” The pre-Miranda questioning was improper.120

Maryland v. Shatzer (2010) Miranda protections do not apply if a suspect is released from police custody for at least 14 days and then questioned. However, if the suspect is rearrested, then Miranda warnings must be read.121

Florida v. Powell (2010) The Miranda warnings do not require that the suspect be advised that he or she has the right to have an attorney present during questioning. It is sufficient to advise the suspect that he or she has the right to talk with a lawyer before questioning and to consult a lawyer at any time during questioning.122

Berghuis v. Thompkins (2010) Unless a suspect asserts his or her Miranda rights, any subsequent voluntary statements given after the warnings are admissible in court. Simply remaining silent does not imply that a suspect has invoked Miranda protection.123

J.D.B. v. North Carolina (2011) Children may be more prone to confessing to crimes they did not commit, and this needs to be taken into consideration in deciding whether a police interrogation is also custodial. In other words, the suspect’s age factors in to the Miranda custody analysis.124

Bobby v. Dixon (2011) Murder confession is admissible because it was voluntary and Miranda rights were both read by police and waived by the suspect—this despite the fact that Miranda rights were not read in a previous interrogation of the suspect arising out of the same criminal act.125

public safety doctrine

The principle that a suspect can be questioned in the field without a Miranda warning if the information the police seek is needed to protect public safety.

Not surprisingly, police administrators who in the past might have been wary of the restrictions imposed by Miranda now favor its use.126 One survey found that nearly 60 percent of police chiefs believe that the Miranda warning should be retained, and the same number report that abolishing Miranda would change the way that the police function.127 To ensure that Miranda rules are being followed, many departments now routinely videotape interrogations, although research shows that this procedure is not a sure cure for police intimidation.128

With the ongoing war on terrorism, law enforcement officers may find themselves in unique situations involving national security and forced to make an immediate decision about whether the Miranda rule applies. It is also important to note that Miranda is an American creation. Miranda-like warnings are not always required in other countr

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