A few days ago the Supreme court ruled that citizens do not have the constitutional right to sue law enforcement in the event that they do not recite the Miranda rights at the time of the arrest. Though this does not mean that law enforcement won’t recite these rights, it does have implications that everyone should be aware of. Here is what you need to know and how to protect yourself!
What you should know and how to exercise your Constitutional Rights
We have all heard the following phrase before on TV, in movies, or in the unfortunate situation where we are being read these rights by an arresting law enforcement officer: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?” These are your Miranda rights that protect you from Self-Incrimination from the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution. We should keep these in mind now because of the changes to how Law Enforcement can operate around these rights with the recent Supreme Court Ruling.
Prior to the ruling, law enforcement would be required to recite the Miranda rights stating the defendant has the right to remain silent and that they have the right to a lawyer. If they did not recite these rights to the defendant, they would potentially make themselves liable if the defendant later decided to sue for violation of these rights. What the Supreme court ruling changes are that a defendant no longer has the right to sue if the Miranda rights were not recited but any self-incrimination or details obtained without the rights being recited may be withdrawn from the court record which can potentially harm a case.
What stays the same
Essentially the act of having the Miranda rules recited should still be done as it has always been, your rights themselves haven’t changed, but because there are little to no repercussions anymore if law enforcement does not inform you of your rights, it may not always be a guarantee that you will be informed of your rights.
How to protect yourself
If for any reason the rules are not recited to you or a loved one, it’s important to know what they are and what they mean. Anything that you say to the police can be and will be used to prosecute you, therefore, it is often in our best interest to use your 5th Amendment rights to declare that you want your lawyer and that you are choosing to remain silent. In the heat of the moment, it can be easy for anyone to want to speak out, explain things, or plead your case, but speaking to the arresting officer without a lawyer can have consequences if you are not careful. Asking for your lawyer and using your rights to remain silent will allow you some protection from self-incrimination and misunderstandings.