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rights

n. 1) plural of right, which is the collection of entitlements which a person may have and which are protected by the government and the courts or under an agreement (contract). 2) slang for the information which must be given by law enforcement officers to a person who is about to be arrested, is a prime suspect in a crime, or is officially accused of a crime. These "rights" are short for "Miranda rights," which the Supreme Court, in Miranda v. Arizona (1966), required be read to suspects, including the rights to remain silent and to have an attorney (and if the suspect cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided), and warning that anything the suspect says can be used against him/her in court. Failure to recite these rights means that a confession may not be used as evidence.

See also: Miranda warning 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications