You have seen it on TV a thousand times. A police officer makes an arrest, then tells the perp, “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.”
In the Miranda v. Arizona case, the Supreme Court established that law enforcement officers must warn criminal suspects about two crucial rights under the United States Constitution: the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination (“No person shall be…compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,”) and the Sixth Amendment right to legal counsel (“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”) Only once this warning has been given may the suspect knowingly waive the right against self-incrimination and make a statement to police officers.
The Risk of Waiving Your Right Against Self-Incrimination