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To Mirandize a person refers to the act of reading or reciting a Miranda warning. A police officer is required to Mirandize a detainee after arrest and prior to beginning interrogation. The requirement to give Miranda warnings came from the Supreme Court decision, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966). In Miranda, the Court held that a defendant cannot be questioned by police in the context of a custodial interrogation until the defendant is made aware of the right to remain silent, the right to consult with an attorney and have the attorney present during questioning, and the right to have an attorney appointed if indigent. In Vega v. Tekoh (2022) the Supreme Court held that violating Miranda Rights does not provide a basis for a § 1983 claim. Thus, officers who fail to Mirandize individuals prior to an interrogation have qualified immunity

The failure to Mirandize a defendant can lead to their statements being ruled inadmissible. For example, New York Criminal Procedure §60.45 states that “evidence of a written or oral confession, admission, or other statement made by a defendant with respect to his participation or lack of participation in the offense charged, may not be received in evidence against him in a criminal proceeding if such statement was involuntarily made.” A statement is considered involuntarily made if it is obtained “in violation of such rights as the defendant may derive from the Constitution of this state or of the United States.”

[Last updated in July of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]