Alameda County
Bar Association

Celebrating Law Day 2016 – Miranda: More than words 

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What is Law Day?

Law Day, held annually on May 1, is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share.

Understanding the Miranda Warning

Ernesto_Miranda2016 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the best-known U.S. Supreme Court cases, Miranda v. Arizona. While the term Miranda Warning was not explicitly mentioned in Miranda, it is the name of the formal warning that is required to be given by police in the U.S. to criminal suspects in police custody before interrogation. The purpose is to ensure the accused are aware of, and reminded of, these rights under the U.S. Constitution, and that they know they can invoke them at any time during the interrogation.

Miranda Rights are given under circumstances of “custody” and “interrogation.”

  • “Custody” means formal arrest or the deprivation of freedom to an extent associated with formal arrest.
  • “Interrogation” means explicit questioning or actions that are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.
  • Contrary to what is depicted on many television shows, the police do not need to give the Miranda Warnings before making an arrest. But the warning must be given before interrogating a person while in custody.

Access to legal representation

For many people, having access to legal representation can maintain stability in their life and make the difference between retaining employment, ownership of a home, or obtaining protection from threats to bodily harm.

People need meaningful access to legal representation and justice. Barriers to effective right to counsel denies the most basic human rights and can lead to life-altering consequences.

Know your rights. Call our Lawyer Referral Service

(510) 302-ACBA (2222) AND PRESS 4


Do you or a loved one need a lawyer? Call our State Bar and Better Business Bureau certified Lawyer Referral Service. The ACBA Lawyer Referral Service has attorneys practicing in more than 100 different areas of law, and all LRS attorneys are rigorously screened for their experience, knowledge and professionalism.