People accused of crimes often ask: “can the police use my statement against me?” In order for a statement to be used against someone in court, the statement must be voluntary and may also need Miranda warnings prior to the statement being given. A truly voluntary statement is important and valuable, because a confession given under torture or abusive conditions may simply be someone telling their tormentor what he or she wants to hear in order to make the torture stop.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives people the right to remain silent and to be free from being forced to incriminate himself or herself. These rights in the 5th
Amendment also mandate that any statements must be voluntary. The Ohio Supreme Court
cited the following factors in determining whether a statement is voluntary include: totality of the circumstances, age, mentality, and prior criminal experience of the accused; the length, intensity, and frequency of the interrogation; the existence of physical deprivation or mistreatment; and the existence of threat or inducement.
Can a person waive the right to remain silent? The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to remain silent, often referred to as “pleading the fifth.” Ohio also guarantees this right in Article 1, Section 10 of the Ohio Constitution.
In the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)
, the court said that the following warnings must be given prior to a custodial interrogation: