The defendant was apprehended for commission of a murder. Prior to questioning, an officer informed the defendant as follows:
You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used as evidence against you in a court of law. You have the right to talk to a lawyer before you are questioned, have him present with you while you are being questioned, and all during the questioning. You have the right to have a lawyer appointed to represent you at no cost to yourself.
The defendant acknowledged that he understood these rights and then provided a taped statement to the officer. Based in part on his taped statement, the defendant was convicted of first-degree murder.
Whether an officer must use the precise language contained in the Miranda case?
No. An officer is not required to use the precise language contained in the Miranda case but must convey the equivalent information found in that case.
The Supreme Court does not require that an officer use the precise language contained in the Miranda case when notifying defendants of their Miranda warnings. The Court actually stated in Miranda that “the warnings required and the waiver necessary … are, in the absence of a fully effective equivalent, prerequisites to the admissibility of any statement made by a defendant (emphasis added).” Further, in Rhode Island v. Innis, the Court discussed the Miranda case and noted that what was required was “the now familiar Miranda warnings … or their equivalent.” In this case, “nothing in the warnings given the [defendant] suggested any limitation on the right to the presence of appointed counsel different from the clearly conveyed rights to a lawyer in general, including the right ‘to a lawyer before you are questioned … while you are being questioned, and all during the questioning.”
453 U.S. 355, 101 S. Ct. 2806 (1981)