According to a previous answer to one of my questions, you don't have a constitutional right to a Miranda warning, my question then is how did the USA universally develop Miranda if it was not through the Constitution?

Is this as simple as a state law that all the states have or is there some other way universal laws in the US get made that is not the constitution?

2 Answers 2


The U.S. Constitution, as the U.S. Supreme Court held in the year 1966 in the Miranda case, provides that introduction of evidence obtained without a Miranda warning in a criminal trial is unconstitutional. This is an implementation of the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination (as incorporated to apply to state and local governments via the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution). The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution itself says (emphasis added):

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

In the case before it, the U.S. Supreme Court held that:

From the testimony of the officers and by the admission of respondent, it is clear that Miranda was not in any way apprised of his right to consult with an attorney and to have one present during the interrogation, nor was his right not to be compelled to incriminate himself effectively protected in any other manner. Without these warnings, the statements were inadmissible.

Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 492 (1966).

Miranda rights are applied in connection with motions to exclude evidence raised by criminal defense counsel, either prior to trial in a motion in limine, or in an objection raised during trial, if the prosecution tries to introduce evidence obtained without a Miranda warning based upon a statement of the defendant at trial.

Put another way, rather than creating a constitutional right, Miranda is about what is necessary to make a free and voluntary waiver of the constitutional right to not be compelled to self-incriminate yourself. Without a Miranda warning, this right cannot be waived while you are in police custody, so your own statements made to law enforcement while you are in custody cannot be used to incriminate you.

Failing to give the warning is not itself unconstitutional and thus can't form a basis for an independent lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. As the U.S. Supreme Court explained in Vega v. Tekoh in the year 2022 (at page 13 of the slip opinion):

[A] violation of Miranda... does not constitute "the deprivation of [a] right . . . secured by the Constitution."

What is unconstitutional is trying to use statements of the defendant obtained without it at court. As long as the government doesn't do that, it hasn't violated the constitution simply by not giving the warning. If the government does trial to introduce this evidence in a criminal prosecution, the trial court judge should exclude the evidence, and if the trial court judge does not, this is a basis to appeal a conviction obtained with that evidence.

my question then is how did the USA universally develop Miranda if it was not through the Constitution?

Miranda developed through the Constitution, but it developed as a mechanism to protect a Fifth Amendment right from being improperly deemed to have been waived, rather than as a right in and of itself.

  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Law Meta, or in Law Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – feetwet
    Commented May 3 at 18:49
  • The TLDR is that the rights are in the Constitution, but only in a very general manner. The Supreme Court invented this process as the way to ensure these rights are implemented consistently.
    – Barmar
    Commented May 3 at 21:00

It is the result of case law. You do have a right to be read your rights during questioning.

  • 1
    How do you know? This answer has provided no supporting citations. Commented May 3 at 17:09
  • The answer above has none, yet you only complain to me. Lol
    – Mimedfp
    Commented May 3 at 17:10
  • 3
    It cites the Miranda case itself. You've not cited anything. Commented May 3 at 17:16
  • It does not cite it.
    – Mimedfp
    Commented May 3 at 17:20
  • 2
    @Mimedfp What is your definition of cite?
    – user 55905
    Commented May 3 at 20:25

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