When Are Miranda Rights Applicable in the Military?

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When someone is in custody and being interrogated by law enforcement officers, they are read a set of rights, known as Miranda Rights. Miranda Rights, which were established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona, include the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the warning that anything the individual says can be used against them in a court of law. So, how are Miranda Rights applied in the military? 

The military justice system operates independently of civilian law, and the procedures can vary. While some principles are similar, the way rights are administered and cases are handled can be distinct.

Here’s what to know. 

Article 31 Rights

In the military, service members have rights similar to Miranda warnings. However, they are provided differently than civilian ones. Rather than “Miranda Rights,” in the military they are referred to as “Article 31 Rights,” which are found in Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

Custodial Interrogation

Article 31 rights, like Miranda Rights, are applicable when a service member is in custody and subject to interrogation by law enforcement or military authorities. This means that if a service member is not free to leave and is being questioned by military personnel, they must be informed of their rights. 

Commander’s Inquiry

It’s important to note that there are some situations in which a service member may not receive Article 31 rights. In some circumstances, service members may face a “commander’s inquiry” or “non-judicial punishment” (Article 15 proceedings). When this occurs, the individual is not actually in custody and the proceedings are considered administrative rather than criminal. 

Court-Martial Proceedings

As with Miranda Warnings, during a court-martial service members have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The defense counsel or judge advocate will be the one to advise on these rights. 

If you are a service member facing a military investigation, it’s crucial to consult with a military defense attorney who is experienced in military law to protect your rights and interests.

The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Have Been Charged with a Crime

The U.S. Government has an interest in obtaining a conviction as soon as possible, as it does not wish to gain negative publicity about one of its service members. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced military attorney as soon as possible.

If you are a military service member and have been charged with a crime under the UCMJ, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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