Miranda Warnings Definition

The warnings that law enforcement must give to a criminal suspect who is under arrest or in custody and about to be questioned. If the prosecution wants to use the suspect's statements in court, the prosecutor must prove that the suspect understood and knowingly waived, or gave up, certain rights. Those "Miranda rights" include:

  • the right to remain silent
  • the right to have a lawyer present during questioning, and
  • right to a court-appointed attorney if they cannot afford one.

In addition, the suspect must be told that anything they say can be used in court.

To prove that a suspect understood and knowingly gave up these rights, police routinely give a Miranda warning before the suspect is arrested or questioned.

(See also Miranda v. Arizona)