The U.S. Supreme Court curbed an important enforcement mechanism that helped to ensure police officers would read people their Miranda Rights before questioning them in custody. In Vega v. Tekoh, SCOTUS ruled 6-3 on June 23, that Miranda v. Arizona didn’t provide a basis for civil damages against police officers who fail to read Miranda Rights.
Miranda Rights include the following:
- The right to remain silent, because anything you say can and will be used against you.
- The right to an attorney or have one provided to you if you can’t afford one.
Derived as a restatement of the rights provided under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Miranda Rights – and the requirement to read them before questioning someone in custody – have been a mainstay in U.S. criminal procedure for more than 55 years.
Although the recent SCOTUS decision doesn’t strip people of these rights, removing the civil penalty police officers can face for failing to read them significantly blunts the incentive to do so. In other words, police officers – and law enforcement agencies, as a whole – no longer bear any responsibility for issuing Miranda Warnings before questioning a suspect.
What This Can Mean for You
If you are arrested for DUI or another suspected crime, the police may or may not read your Miranda Rights before questioning you. If you aren’t read your Miranda Rights and the police question you, anything you tell them may still be deemed inadmissible in court, but you will not be able to file a civil rights action against the police officer or agency.
You are still protected against self-incrimination and are entitled to a lawyer, but the police have no legal requirement to inform you of this.
Get Legal Help Now
If you or someone you love was arrested by the police, it’s important to secure legal representation as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney from Orr Law Firm can help you through the initial stages of your case and build a defense that can limit your liability for any charges against you.
Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online. When you do, request a free consultation to get started today!