Investigation by law enforcement

A suspect in a criminal case has a constitutional right not to incriminate him or herself. Further, choosing to exercise one’s right to remain silent cannot be used against a defendant in a court of law.

The concept of "Miranda Rights" is generally misunderstood by the public. It may be helpful to read a quote from the landmark case, Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436. In Miranda, the Supreme Court of the United States held that:

[T]he prosecution may not use statements, whether exculpatory or inculpatory, stemming from custodial interrogation of the defendant unless it demonstrates the use of procedural safeguards effective to secure the privilege against self-incrimination. By custodial interrogation, we mean questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way. . . . Prior to any questioning, the person must be warned that he has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed. (Miranda, supra, 384 U.S. at 444.)

Unfortunately, courts continue to chip away at this case and the principles of Miranda. For example, in California, courts have held that statements elicited by law enforcement in violation of one’s Miranda Rights can be used to impeach a defendant if the defendant testifies on his own behalf.


Representing the rights of individuals throughout the Bay Area

Investigation by Law Enforcement

General Information about Criminal Charges

Driving Under the Influence

All Narcotics Offenses

Medical Marijuana

Domestic Violence and Child Endangerment

Resisting Arrest / Free Speech

Serious Felonies

State and Federal Motions, Trials and Appeals

About Mr. Feinland

Office Locations

Send Email

Our cases in the News

Copyright 1999, Sandy Feinland, Esq. Last modified: June 9, 2000

Please read our Disclaimer