Granger and Mueller PC
we can help Call us 24/7
Our Practice Areas

Miranda rights celebrate 50th birthday, may get a Spanish update

Some take a moment to renew themselves on their birthday with a trip to a spa, others with a moment of reflection. As the Miranda celebrates its 50th birthday this year, it may celebrate with an update - a translation into Spanish.

What is the Miranda?

Black's Law Dictionary, the dictionary go-to for legal professionals, defines the Miranda as the:

US legal requirement that a criminal suspect shall be told of standing constitutional rights before being interrogated. This rule results from the 1966 case of Miranda v. State of Arizona. This requirement must occur to make confessions obtained by police admissible in court. These rights are: (1) the right to remain silent, (2) the right to have an attorney present, and (3) the right the state appointment an attorney if the suspect cannot afford one. Also known as Miranda Warning.

Essentially, this means that without the Miranda warning any evidence gathered during the questioning of a suspect in a criminal matter would not be admissible in court.

Has incorrect translation been an issue?

In short, the answer is yes. The incorrect translation of the Miranda is an issue. There are approximately 874,000 arrests in the United States that use Spanish-language Miranda warnings every single year.

An examination of one officer's translation found some discrepancies. First off, he used the word "libre" to substitute for "free". This is not accurate. Libre essentially means that the attorney would be available, not that the legal representation would be free.

This is just one example of the many errors that could occur with an inaccurate translation.

Should a Spanish translation be available?

A recent article in Vice, an online publication that focuses on "immersive investigative journalism", the United States is the world's second-largest Spanish-speaking country. Second only to Mexico.

Problems arise when enforcement officers attempt to translate these rights themselves. As noted in the example above, the true meaning of the Miranda can be lost if a single word is poorly translated. In an effort to avoid this error, the American Bar Association (ABA), a group of legal professional from throughout the country, is considering adapting a uniform Spanish-language Miranda.

Although the ABA cannot require officers to use this warning, it will be encouraged and readily available.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • I would recommend the Granger and Mueller PC. firm to my friends, family or anyone in need of criminal legal representation or advice. They have a long history of success and know how to work with the system...
  • Retained Aaron to handle my sons Possession of Marijuana charges during his senior year in high school. He was caught with 2 pot-brownies at his high school and was charged with POM in Drug Free Zone...
  • Without any hesitation, I would recommend Aaron Mueller. He is very diligent and courteous and guides you through every step-helping you understand the legal process and legal speak...
Read More Testimonials

You Have A Problem. We Can Help Solve It. For over 40 years, our criminal defense law firm has achieved favorable results for clients charged with crimes in Travis County. Fill out the form today to contact our team.

Email Us Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Don't Lose Hope. Find Out How We Can Help. Call 512-474-9999.

Granger and Mueller PC
605 West 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: 512-474-9999
Fax: 512-474-5353
Austin Law Office Map

VISA | Master Card | American Express | DISCOVER NETWORK | PayPal
Travis County Justice Center