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Charge: Assault - State claimed client hit victim with a telephone and broke victim’s nose. However, the client was acting in self-defense.

Verdict: NOT GUILTY

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The Miranda Warning

During arrests, police officers are required to inform the arrested individuals of their rights: the right to an attorney and the right to avoid self-incrimination. This usually takes the form of the familiar speech beginning with “you have the right to remain silent.” That speech is known as the Miranda warning, sometimes called the Miranda rights, but it has not always been required. Before the lawsuit Miranda v. Arizona, it was far easier for police to deprive the people they arrest of their rights.

The Miranda warning is named after Ernesto Miranda, a day laborer who was not informed of his rights when he was arrested. Police interrogators are allowed by law to lie to defendants in order to get a confession. Miranda was led to believe that he had already been proven guilty and was led to sign a confession, all without legal representation. Had he had a lawyer, his self-incrimination could have been prevented.

When Miranda finally gained legal representation and appealed his case, the Supreme Court found that his rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution had been violated. These Amendments guarantee the right to legal representation and freedom from self-incrimination for all citizens. The Court ruled that anyone being arrested should be made aware of their right to be free from self-incrimination and their right to hire a lawyer, leading to the standardized Miranda warning that we know today.

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When you or someone you love has been arrested, it is important to remember that you do not have to speak to the police. By seeking the help of a defense lawyer, you can protect your rights and defend your freedom. To discuss your case with an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer from the Johnson, Johnson & Baer Law Firm, P.C., contact us today by calling 713-523-0404.