Law and order is important in a society. In a perfect world, the laws created help to ensure the safety and freedom of every person. Without fair and just laws, chaos and injustice can and will reign. Laws are a necessary part of life, but not everyone is aware of how laws are written and constructed, or if these laws change with different cases and rulings.
That’s often the case for laws and procedures depicted on T.V. shows. Often these T.V. shows take some “creative liberties” which can be confusing when reality clashes with how things played out in a favorite T.V. show.
Think of any crime-based T.V. show– there are dozens to choose from–each one of those shows has an officer reading a person their Miranda Rights.
The Ins and Outs of Your Miranda Rights
In the grand scheme of history, the creation of Miranda Rights is still fairly recent. Miranda rights are meant to protect a person’s fifth amendment rights – an amendment that a person can’t be forced to incriminate themselves.
The original ruling dates back to 1966 and a court case between Miranda and the state of Arizona. Miranda, an alleged criminal, was questioned in relation to a kidnapping. During the investigation, Miranda was arrested and charged with multiple crimes after supposedly confessing to everything. The alleged criminal was never made aware of his rights or what was happening, and so, the confession was later recanted.
Miranda was convicted but fought to appeal the decision. Going all the way to the Supreme Court, it was determined Miranda’s fifth amendment rights were infringed upon. So, Miranda Rights were created.
Miranda Rights are often stated as the following:
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
After an arrest, a person must be Mirandized and can then invoke silence in order to not incriminate themselves. While the above wording is usually the most common, the specific wording can and does vary from state to state. The intention and protection, however, remain the same.
Recent Supreme Court Ruling
And so Miranda Rights have remained relatively unchanged since their inception in the late 1960s. That is, until recently. In June of 2022, the Supreme Court issued a new statement on the procedure of the Miranda warning or Mirandizing.
Before the ruling in Vega v. Tekoh, citizens who were not read their Miranda Rights during an arrest could seek legal and financial recourse on the officer or officers who failed to follow procedure. That, however, is no longer the case.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3, with one dissent, that a person cannot sue an officer who fails to read them their Miranda Rights. This decision in no way changes a person’s right to the protections and procedures outlined in the Miranda rights, nor does it make any officer less obligated to brief someone on their rights.
What the decision does do is remove some of the protection for a citizen that is illegally or wrongfully interrogated. If a person is unaware of their right to a lawyer or to stay silent, they may incriminate themselves and then find themselves convicted by a jury. People in these situations can now find it very difficult to find resolution or restitution when Miranda Rights are missed altogether.
Even with this Supreme Court decision, you are still entitled to the rights outlined in the Miranda Warning. It’s important to be proactive in these situations. While nobody wants to find themselves being interrogated about a potential crime, situations may arise in the future. Try to be aware of the changes in court rulings and how they might affect your rights.
Civil Rights Lawyer in Los Angeles
Our civil rights are important, and laws are constantly changing. Please stay tuned to our blog for latest information on news that impacts your constitutional rights. If you feel like any of your rights have been infringed upon such as that by police or law enforcement, it is vital you contact an attorney to seek justice. The Sehat Law Firm’s civil rights lawyers service those in the counties (and neighboring cities) of Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside. From wrongful death, to prison guard abuse, we want to hear your case and help you bring accountability to those who abuse their power! A free consultation is available to everyone.