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The Miranda Warning | Surreptitious Recordings

The Miranda warning (also well-known as Miranda rights) is a legal requirement in the United States, according to which the suspects must be informed of their rights before the interrogation of a crime.
Thus, this paper introduces the scenario that should be examined and discussed if the recorded conversation between the subjects legal evidence. Moreover, it explains the recorded communication’s legality, and observes the case law to support arguments and conclusions.

To begin with, Miranda rights were introduced by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966 to ensure the rights against self-incrimination. Since then, any information obtained from a detainee during interrogation before he was informed of his rights, cannot be considered to be admissible evidences.

According to Kassin and Norwick (2004), “In the landmark case of Miranda v. Arizona (1966), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police must inform all suspects in custody of their Constitutional rights to silence and to counsel” (p. 211). Consequently, the rights which are presented in Miranda rights include the following five major components: “(a) right to silence, (b) use of any statements against the suspect, (c) right to counsel, (d) access to counsel for indigent suspects, and (e) assertion of rights at any time” (Rogers, Harrison, Shuman, Sewell, & Hazelwood, 2007, p. 178).

Talking about the scenario when a policeman was on patrol and he stopped a car that was occupied by two men. When a policeman realized that a car was stolen, he arrested the detainees. However, he did not ask them any questions and did not inform them of their Miranda rights. Then a policeman placed detainees in the back seat of his patrol car and left the digital voice recorder on. After returning, he reproduced a record on which the detainees were discussing details how they stole a car.

Observing this situation, it is possible to conclude that this is a widespread fact that when the police officers arrest the suspects they have to mirandize them (to inform the suspects of their constitutional rights). Talking about the above-mentioned situation, we can say that the policeman did not follow this rule. Hence, the recorded communication in this scenario is not acceptable because the policeman failed to Mirandize the men and did not follow the protocol.

Moreover, it should be emphasized that there is no a reasonable expectation of privacy in the policeman’s car. The exception to that rule is only when the detainee communicates with his lawyer. In his case, the expectation of privacy is acceptable. In order to support these arguments, it is necessary to remember the 9th circuit (California) that declared that if the detainees have not been informed of their rights then their conversations and explanations to each other cannot be accepted in the court. In fact, this situation depends upon the state in which these events happened. But despite any fact, this recorded conversation is not legal evidences because the suspects were not mirandize about their rights.

Taking the above-mentioned information into consideration, it is possible to draw a conclusion that Miranda rights are democratic norms of the criminal process in the U.S. legal system. The accused may request to exclude any confessions obtained, for example, through illegal surveillance operations. Miranda rights do not apply to the suspects during interrogation if they are not under arrest or if they voluntarily give the police officers incriminating evidences rather than give them as responses during interrogation.


Kassin, S. M., & Norwick, R. J. (2004). Why People Waive Their “Miranda” Rights: The Power of Innocence. Law and Human Behavior, 28 (2), 211-221.
Rogers, R., Harrison, K. S., Shuman, D. W., Sewell, K. W., & Hazelwood, L. L. (2007). An Analysis of Miranda Warnings and Waivers: Comprehension and Coverage. Law and Human Behavior, 31 (2), 177-192.