Why do we have Miranda rights

Dresden attorney: STURM RECHTSANWÄLTE

Rights in criminal proceedings

Exercise your rights in criminal proceedings

Do you know the American crime novels? Especially the part that always follows the spectacular chase and arrest? The talk is of the “reading of the rights” of the arrested person.

The formula goes back to a decision by the US Supreme Court and is generally called the “Miranda Warning” (Miranda vs. Arizona) after whoever won it. Police officers in the USA are supposed to always carry the correct text with them so that they do not forget part of it. In the USA, this could make the statement unusable. It's not that easy here in Germany. But that's a different story.

Can you meanwhile have a say in the rights issue in the evening thriller? Those are the best prerequisites.

According to Wikipedia [http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miranda_v._Arizona] the formula in German is typically something like this:

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. You have the right to call a defense attorney for any questioning. If you can't afford a defense attorney, you will be provided with one. "

As a suspect, you will also be informed of your rights in Germany, usually using a form. Experience has shown that the time of this instruction is handled variably. The instruction should take place as soon as the officials assume that the person to be questioned is the accused. However, the conferring of the status of "accused" is placed in the hands of the police.

It is not so rare that the situation is confusing, for example, so that a clear accused cannot yet be found out. But the police can also keep the situation confused in order not to treat the accused as such.

In such situations - because it is believed that the police have bad cards anyway or for other reasons - information is provided without need, which in an emergency makes an effective defense considerably more difficult.

It therefore makes sense if you know and exercise your rights regardless of the assessment of the police.


"You have the right to remain silent, everything you can (from now on) say and will be used against you in court"

Take this right seriously. Not only the interrogation in the district, during which a protocol is made, is an interrogation. This also includes phone calls, polite conversations while driving to the station, simple "small talk" over a cigarette in the yard or so-called informational interviews. Everything that you express in any way can and will be used. Whether there is a protocol signed by you is completely irrelevant. Don't say anything, where NOTHING means "nothing at all" ...


"You have the right to call in a defense attorney for every questioning."

In Germany, too, you have the right to consult a lawyer you trust at every stage of the procedure. Make use of this right. Give us a call. You must not be denied an unsupervised phone call with your defense lawyer. Point out that you want to speak to your lawyer and ask for an appropriate telephone connection.

In emergencies, we can be reached around the clock, including on public holidays, via our on-call service. The office number is forwarded to a lawyer’s mobile phone. If necessary, please speak to the answering machine and enable us to call you back.

In larger cities - including Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz - the local lawyers 'associations or defense lawyers' associations also maintain regional emergency services.

There is more information on this in the "Emergency Advisor"


"If you can't afford a lawyer, you will be provided with one."

This is not quite as easy in Germany as it sounds in the instruction in the crime thriller. In Germany you have the right to a public defender if you are accused of more serious offenses, if you have to reckon with serious sanctions or if you cannot defend yourself effectively.

You can find more information under "Costs in criminal proceedings"

Lawyer Matthias Ketzer, specialist lawyer for criminal law, Dresden (status: 11.06.2019)

Dresden attorney

STURM lawyers
Blasewitzer Str. 9
D-01307 Dresden
T 49 (0) 351 260 688 3
F 49 (0) 351 260 688 2
Email: [email protected]


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