Miranda Rights Read to Minors

Question: Do Miranda rights have to be read to minors?

Answer: Minors typically are thought of as having a higher degree of protection, simply because their age precludes them from being able to otherwise consent. So, for example, many states have well-developed case law as it relates to a minor’s ability to consent to a breath or blood test without a parent present. As it relates to the Miranda rights, because of their semi-protected status, it is in many instances even more important that the Miranda rights be read to a minor than to an adult. Having said that, the Miranda rights are equally applicable. It’s important to understand, however, that the Miranda rights themselves do not arise out of the Constitution and appear nowhere within the context of the Constitution itself. Instead, they’re based on a case going all the way back to the 1970s, Miranda v. Arizona, where the Supreme Court established the Miranda rights. The Miranda rights relate specifically to a person’s right not to self-incriminate themselves. That language does not appear in the Constitution, but the Miranda rights themselves do not.

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