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Miranda Warnings as Applied to Children

child-147x150How old must a child be before he or she can understand the Miranda warnings? The Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of J.D.B. vs. North Carolina, dealt with this issue. The court, in this case, rendered a ruling that police must take a suspect’s age into consideration when evaluating whether to give the Miranda warnings before questioning the suspect about criminal activity.

The Miranda warnings are that the individual being interrogated has a right to remain silent, a right to counsel, that any statement may be used as evidence against him and, if he or she can’t afford an attorney, an attorney will be appointed.

The Facts of J.D.B. vs. North Carolina

J.D.B. was a thirteen-year-old seventh grader. He was found near the site of home break-ins. He was questioned by the police without receiving his Miranda warnings. He initially denied complicity in the criminal activity. In the end, he confessed. He was given his Miranda warnings after confessing.

The Supreme Court Decision

The United States Supreme Court rendered a decision that a suspect’s age should be taken into consideration to determine whether he is “in custody” for purposes of being entitled to receive the Miranda Warnings. In the majority decision, Justice Sotomayor states “it is beyond dispute that children will often feel bound to submit to police questioning when an adult in the same circumstances would feel free to leave.” She further stated, “a child’s age is far more than a chronological fact. It is a fact that generates common sense and conclusions and perceptions…we have observed that children generally are less mature and responsible than adults and that they often lack experience, perspective and judgment to recognize and avoid choices that could be detrimental to them”, and that they “are more vulnerable or susceptible to outside pressure then adults.”

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Criminal Attorneys

Being charged with a crime can have a major impact on a person’s life. In these circumstances, you want experienced, knowledgeable criminal defense counsel to protect your rights. For more than 33 years, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have provided criminal defense throughout the Metropolitan New York area for individuals charged with drug offenses, domestic violence, assault and battery, driving while intoxicated, juvenile defenses, shoplifting, burglary, weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes, and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Our office is on call 24/7. We provide free consultations for all prospective clients.

Miranda Rights Trimmed Down

Handcuffs-225px-150x150The United States Supreme Court has recently taken action to restrict the famous “Miranda Criminal Warnings.” The Supreme Court rulings will impact police procedures. Police will have more leeway in the questioning of suspected criminals.

Police Questioning

The Supreme Court has not eliminated the Miranda warnings which are, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you can not afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?” These Miranda rights’ impact have been reduced by the United States Supreme Court during this past year.

Under the courts current ruling, if you ask to have an attorney present during questioning this request is only valid for 14 days (two weeks). After two weeks the police can question you without violating your constitutional rights.

If you are a criminal suspect and you are arrested today you must state to the police, “I wish to remain silent.” If the suspect does not advise the police that he or she wishes to remain silent the police consider this to be a waiver of his or her Miranda rights. Legal experts feel that the Court’s rulings will make it easier for police to obtain confessions from individuals who do not want to confess.

Should you be arrested or charged with a crime or be the subject of a criminal investigation, it is important that you contact experienced aggressive criminal defense attorneys. Feel free to call the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431.

Should Terrorist Get Miranda Warnings?

Miranda Warnings
Miranda warnings given to individuals arrested in th United States are given based upon the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Miranda v. Arizona. The Miranda warnings require the police officer, FBI agent or other governmental arresting officer to advise the arrestee that anything they say or do could be held against them, that they have a right to an attorney and if they cannot afford an attorney, an attorney will be appointed for them.

President Obama is considering supporting a law that would either delay or eliminate the Constitutional Miranda warnings when dealing with individuals charged with terrorism. Constitutional attorneys and former prosecutors have discussed a terrorism exception with regard to giving Miranda warnings to individuals arrested for terrorist acts. They suggest a terrorism exception could last up to 48 hours before the Miranda warnings would have to given to the suspect. There has also been a discussion of a statue authorizing emergency detention of individuals suspected of having committed terrorist attacks.

The United States is currently the only country in the world that gives individuals suspected of being charged with crimes various warnings to protect themselves from making statements that could be used against them at trial.

I personally believe that the Miranda warnings are important protections for individuals suspected of committing crimes. However, a 48 hour exception to the Miranda rule should be carved out for suspects charged with terrorist acts. We live in a world in which terrorists seek to take away the basic freedoms that we have fought so hard to protect. This minor exception to the Miranda rule in certain circumstances maybe necessary to protect the lives of Americans against catastrophic terrorist attacks.

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