Criminal Law and Police Administration

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ELEMENTS OF CRIMINOLOGY, CRIMINAL LAW AND POLICE ADMINISTRATION PROJECT A Project Report CONTENTS Table & Contents List of Table and Figures Preface 1. Introduction 1.1 Law 1 1.2 United States constitution 2 2. Miranda Rights 2.1 Definition 3 2.2 History 3 2.3 The lines and its interpretation 4 2.4 Exceptions to Miranda Rights 5 2.5 Waiver 6 2.6 Violation 8 2.7 Consequences 8 References LIST OF FIGURES 1.1 1 1.2 3 2.1 Table 2.1 PREFACE The constitution of any country is the most important law which regulates all the activities of the citizens. In this project, we will look at the Fifth Amendment of the US constitution which includes the Miranda Rights. The matter looked into is the definition, the lines of the Miranda Rights, exceptions, waiver rule, consequences and violation of Miranda Rights. A brief description has also been given on ‘What is law?’ and the United States Constitution. This project has been made solely by the two authors with the help of few reference guidelines. The aim of this report is to help educate the reader about the need and importance of Miranda Rights. Introduction to law Law is a set of rules that governs the functioning of a society or country by regulating the action of its members. This applies to every citizen. According to Thomas Hobbes, law is a type of glue that holds all diverse societies together. Definition of ‘law’ by different systems of society:

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  1. Legal Positivism
  • John Austin – “Province of Jurisprudence Determined”

“A rule laid down for the guidance of an intelligent being by an intelligent being having power over him.”

  • Professor Hart -“The Concept of Law” (1961)

“Law is a system of rules, a union of primary and secondary rules.”

  1. Marxist theory- they believe that law is a tool of oppression used by capitalists to control the people.
  1. Natural Law.
  • Plato and Aristotle
    • “An embodiment of Reason, whether in the individual or the community’’.
  • Max Weber (German Sociologist):

“Law…exist if it is externally guaranteed by the probability of coercion (physical or psychological) to bring about conformity or avenge violation, and is applied by a staff of people holding themselves specially ready for that purpose.” United States Constitution: Introduction The Constitution is the most important and highest law in United States. All laws are stated in the Constitution. Each state has its own constitution. It is responsible for the election and governing of the president, the political parties and the Supreme Court. The Constitution has been changed several times and as of 2006, there are 27 amendments. The first ten amendments list the rights of the people, called the Bill of Rights. The Constitution of US was written in 1787 by a group of men known as the ‘farmers’ which included James Madison, Ben Franklin and George Washington. The Bill of Rights includes the Miranda Warnings, Students’ Rights as well as Constitutional Rights and Responsibility. The Fifth Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights and protects against unfair treatment of people in legal processes. It states that all criminals should be tried by a grand jury. Miranda Rights is a part of the Fifth Amendment which protects an individual while interrogation by the police. Miranda Warning Miranda warnings or Miranda Rights is a warning, usually given by the police in US to the criminals at the time of arrest or before any interrogation. It is a must for the police administration to inform these rights to the suspect. This is used to preserve the admissibility of their statements when presented in court. However a police need not read the Miranda rights to a person if he doesn’t use his statements as evidence in court. These rights need to be read only if the police questions a suspect. For example, for a particular crime, the police may question the witnesses without reading them their rights. However this is still admissible in court as the person is free to make the choice and will not be arrested. According to Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973, police administration must provide qualified interpreters to inform deaf persons of their Miranda Rights. Only after a suspect has been detained, but before interrogation, the police must read him his rights. However if the police arrests a person and interrogates him without reading him his rights, his charges will not be dismissed but his statements will not be admissible in court. This is used to protect the individual who is in custody and the law enforcement is required to follow them. It was created in the 1960s to protect the rights of those questioned by the police in a threatening manner. History The term ‘Miranda Rights’ was developed after the Arizona v. Miranda case. In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested for armed robbery of a bank worker. He had a record for attempted rape and kidnapping of an 18-year-old girl, assault, burglary and armed robbery. Upon interrogation by the police, he confessed to kidnapping and raping the girl. However his statement was ruled invalid in court as his attorneys appealed that Miranda did not know that he had the right to remain silent and it was believed that Miranda gave in due to threatening by the police official. However Miranda was convicted later when the prosecutors retried the case using evidences other than his statement. He served 11 years in prison. Miranda died at the age of 32 after being stabbed and killed in a bar fight. A suspect accused of killing Miranda was arrested but exercised his rights to remain silent. The lines for ‘Miranda rights’ was then finalized by California deputy attorney general Doris Maier and district attorney Harold Berliner in 1968. The Lines “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 an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. “ Meaning of each line: ‘You have the right to remain silent.’- This line means that the suspect has the right to remain silent and not answer any question asked. Otherwise one can wish to freely answer the questions asked by the police official without an attorney as well or can speak freely in the presence of an attorney. ‘Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.’ – Statements and answers given by the suspect serve as a source of evidence in the court which may at times work against him. ‘You have the right to an attorney.’- The suspect can answers or speak in the presence of his attorney if he wants. This helps him to consult with his attorney before giving an answer. However if the suspect wishes to speak without the presence of his attorney, he can do so, but he can also terminate the interrogation at any time by asking for an attorney. ‘If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.’- if a suspect cannot afford a lawyer, a public defender will be assigned to by the courts. Additional Question: Along with these lines, the police may also add the following questions to see the suspect understands their rights: “Do you understand each of these rights I have explained to you? Having these rights in mind, do you wish to talk to us now?” “We have no way of giving you a lawyer, but one will be appointed for you, if you wish, if and when you go to court.” this is an additional sentence said by some polices administration in New Jersey, Nevada, Indiana and Alaska. Miranda Exception The warnings that should be read to the suspects are:

  • To inform his or her rights to remain silent
  • The right to not say until in the presence attorney.
  • If he or she cannot afford an attorney, an attorney will be given to him by the state.
  • If wished he can waive his rights.

However there are some situations where the Miranda rights need not to read to a certain individual. These situations include:

  • Public safety exception.
  • Undercover agent exception.
  • Routine booking questions exception.

PUBLIC SAFETY EXCEPTION It is when an officer needs information from a suspect without a waiver, which can help save a life or save someone from a threat. Miranda’s public safety exception is helpful for quick action so as complete the police procedure or to fasten the investigation. The investigating officer may ask to a suspect without warning about the Miranda rights to them, if and only if the interrogation is necessary for the public safety.

  • Requirements: The public safety exception applies if the officer who questioned should reasonably believe the information they got was necessary to protect life or property. Their questions should be limited to obtain the information.

UNDERCOVER AGENTS/ JAIL HOUSE INFORMENT EXCEPTIONS It is the situation when the suspect doesn’t know that the person interrogating is an undercover agent. That is, when a suspect is in custody, Miranda is not required if he or she doesn’t know that their voluntarily talking to a police officer. The officer and the suspect negotiation are not considered as interrogation. ROUTINE BOOKING EXCEPTIONS Questions which are routinely asked as a part of administrative process are not part of “interrogation”. Booking questions are not in violation to the Miranda rights. They simple involve questions such as if the suspect suffers from any contagious disease or where is he employed or if he does drugs etc. These statements cannot be used as evidence in court. Miranda Waiver A Waiver is defined as “intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right “. Miranda waiver must be both “knowing” and “understanding”. The suspect must voluntarily waive their rights before questioning can proceed. They can also turn down and need not answer. Usually these waiver questions are asked by some police administration, to understand whether the suspect has understood his rights: “Do you understand each of these rights I have explained to you? Having these rights in mind, do you wish to talk to us now? ”


The person should be informed correctly about their rights and the consequences. Even though the court knows that the suspect might be aware of their Miranda rights, the investigation officer are said to enumerate the suspect as the prosecution have the burden to prove the knowledge by direct means of evidence.

  1. ’“Right to remain silent”- suspect must be told about the Fifth Amendment right to not answer a question.
  2. “Anything you say…”- suspect should be made aware of consequences of waiving their rights.
  3. “Right to counsel”- Miranda rights to counsel has three components:
  1. The right to consult to his or her attorney before answering a question.
  2. The right to keep an attorney while questioning is going on.
  3. The right to have an attorney appointed if the person cannot afford one.
  • MIRANDA CARD: A Standard Miranda card is used to make sure that none of the important information is inadvertently omitted, and it would be easy for the prosecutors to prove that the officer did not make any mistake in the Miranda rights.
  • NO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Officers are not needed to provide any additional information, even though the suspect finds it helpful in deciding whether to waive or invoke.
  • INCORRECT MIRANDA WARNINGS: If the nature of Miranda right or the consequence of waiving it is not represented properly, such a waiver is not valid on the ground it was not knowingly and intelligent.

The person should not only know his or her rights in the abstract, they should have to understand them. This is what the court mean by waiver must be “intelligent”.

  • EXPRESS STATEMENT OF UNDERSTANDING: It is not necessary for the officer to obtain an express statement from the suspect that he understood the rights.
  • CLARIFYING THE RIGHTS: If the suspect conveys he or she did not understand his rights, at that time the investigating officer should try to make him clarify them about their rights.
  • CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE OF UNDERSTANDING: If the suspect agreed that he or she understood their rights, but claimed in court that the suspect, that time the court will consider as circumstantial evidence of understanding. The circumstance is frequently on the bases of the suspect’s age, experience, education, background, and intelligence and also whether the same person has been previously invoked about the rights.
  • MENTALLY IMPARIED SUSPECTS: A Suspect says he or she has understood but later on says or claims that he didn’t as the suspect mental condition is not proper due to over consumption of or alcohol or drugs or if suffering with a mental disorder. In such cases nothing in the record is taken to indicate that the defendant did not understand his or her rights.

Along with the “knowing” and “intelligent” the Miranda waiver should be “voluntary “. This means that the investigating officer should not have to get the waiver by threats or promises or any other ways. Violation of Miranda Rights If an officer fails to read the Miranda Rights, the charges of the suspect will not be dismissed; instead his statements made will not hold an evidential value in the court. These cannot be used by prosecutors or defense lawyers. However a police official can question anyone at any time even if he wants to arrest or detain any person. But any statements made by him during interrogation will be ruled admissible in court. Consequences of Miranda Rights


As People are much more aware of what they should say and what not say, Confession rates has fell by about 16 percentage after Miranda .


Due to this the number of criminal case solved has fell down as the confession rate has declined, it is being more difficult for the police officer to solve the crime. It affects the police success in dealing with the professional criminal. The recent studies say that the chance for a case to be solved is declining every year because of Miranda. References (2000-2008, M Souper). Law and Morality-What is law?. Retrieved from (April, 2013). Miranda Rights. Retrieved from Ruschmann, Paul (Jan 1, 2009). Miranda Rights. Infobase Publishing, US Montaldo, Charles (Crime Expert).Origin of Miranda Rights and Warning. Retrieved from Burgan, Michael (Jul 1, 2006). Miranda V. Arizona: The Rights of the Accused. Capstone Publishers,Minnesota, US. United States Constitution. Retrieved from

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Criminal Law and Police Administration. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from

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