Miranda Triggers

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Procedural Law

In procedural law, the term Miranda triggers refers to the specific circumstances that require law enforcement officers to inform individuals of their constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. These rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

The Miranda warning is required to be given to individuals who are in police custody and are about to be interrogated. The Miranda triggers that require the warning to be given include:

Custody: the individual must be in police custody, meaning that they are deprived of their freedom of movement to a degree associated with formal arrest;

Interrogation: the individual must be subjected to questioning, or its functional equivalent, such as any words or actions that the police should know are reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.

If both of these triggers are present, the police are required to provide the individual with a Miranda warning before conducting any further questioning. Failure to do so may result in any statements made by the individual being excluded from evidence in court.

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Last Modified: 03/10/2023


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