“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney.” The Miranda warning, or Miranda rights, are probably familiar to anyone who has watched police dramas or true crime shows on television, but the practical aspects of them are often misunderstood.
People in the United States have the rights under the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination and under the Sixth Amendment to an attorney when they are being accused of a crime by law enforcement. The Miranda warning developed out of a Supreme Court holding in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) which set out that in order for a statement made to law enforcement officers to be admissible in court the accused needs to be made explicitly aware of these two rights. The Miranda warning statement thus serves two purposes. First, it defends the accused by notifying them of their rights, and second it ensures that any statements that the accused makes to the police will be admissible in court.