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Is Translation Necessary for Miranda Rights to Be Given?

The United States Supreme Court has ruled in United States V. Garibay that the waiver must be knowing and voluntary. The court suppressed statements due to a combination of lack of IQ to understand and inability to speak the language. As such, it is fair to interpret that it would be necessary for the Miranda rights to be translated for the defendant in order for teh waiver to be consensual. The actual question posed was "Can the Police read Miranda rights in English then use a translator to interpret a confession." In this scenario, it would be illogical for the police to be permitted to use the confession when the rights were not understood by the defendant. The Miranda requirement is that the defendant be apprised of his rights and make a knowing waiver of these rights. If he does not speak English and the only Miranda warnings were given in English, he could not have knowingly waived these rights. In practicality, the police should and often do have the interpreter first translate the defendant his rights. Many police agencies have the Miranda warnings in writing and also have at least a Spanish translated version for the defendant to sign. If you have a question regarding your rights, whether the police gave a fair Miranda ruling, and/or have been charged with a crime in Northern Kentucky and you have further questions, you may contact attorney Michael W. Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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