When must a police officer read an accused their “Miranda warnings”?

Discussion 1

Everyone has heard or seen the “Miranda Rights” on television and/or in movies. In fact, most people could probably recite what they are without reading the actual U.S. Supreme Court case or reviewing a criminal law textbook. However, there are a number of factors at play that determine when the Miranda rights must be given to a suspect. Does an officer have to Mirandize you if he walks up on the street and says, “How are you today?” When do constitutional provisions “kick in”?

How would you explain the Miranda warnings and their significance to a friend of yours not in the criminal justice field? At a minimum, address the following questions:

 

What does the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution mean when it states that a person shall not “be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”?

 

  1. When must a police officer read an accused their “Miranda warnings”?
  2. If a police officer violates a defendant’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, what happens to the criminal case against that defendant?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Focus your responses on the elements of the Miranda warning, and question whether the warning is still necessary?

 

Discussion 2

Two commonly confused concepts in criminal law are reasonable suspicion and probable cause. Define and evaluate both of these significant legal terms, and utilize pertinent U.S. Supreme Court opinions to justify your answers. Finally, address what happens to a criminal case when an officer does not possess reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Examine why there are differing standards for a “reasonable suspicion to stop” and for “probable cause.” How do these legal terms relate to peoples’ constitutional protections?

 

Assignment 1

Parties and Pretrial Procedures

Much of the work of the criminal justice system will never be seen by the general public. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and grand juries determine the course of criminal cases well before a case is even committed to a public docket. In your paper, detail the special responsibilities prosecutors have towards initiating a criminal case against a defendant. In other words, how does a prosecutor make the decision to charge someone? In your paper:

  1. Explain why a grand jury is used rather than the prosecutor simply issuing a criminal charge.
  2. Based on the evidence presented by the prosecutor and the finding of probable cause that a crime was committed, discuss the purpose of a grand jury issuing a true bill (criminal charge) or not.
  3. Discuss whether or not a defense attorney and/or the defendant can address a grand jury and provide reasoning for why a defense attorney and/or the defendant would choose to attend or not attend the grand jury proceeding.
  4. Provide all the procedural and substantive ways that a prosecutor and a defense attorney can resolve a case before it goes to a grand jury.
  5. Explain all the procedural and substantive dispositions of a case between a prosecutor and a defense attorney before it goes to a trial.

In your analysis, include your personal opinion of the morality of a system where so much of the charging and plea bargaining process is in the hands of lawyers, often out of view from the general public. What are the potentials for abuse? What effects on “equal justice” can this system have?

For help completing this assignment, please reference the Sample Paper.

The paper must be three to four pages in length (excluding title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style. You must use at least two scholarly sources in addition to the textbook to support your claims. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

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