Did you hear the latest information regarding your Miranda Rights? Under a new supreme court ruling, subjects who are not warned of their Miranda Rights can no longer sue law enforcement for a violation of their Fifth Amendment rights. So, what does this mean going forward?
What Sparked This Change?
The Vega v. Tekoh
case was what drove this Miranda warning revolution. Tekoh was a hospital worker who was accused of sexually assaulting an immobile female patient at his workplace. Vega was the sheriff deputy who received a written confession from Vega. After Tekoh’s trial, he filed a suit for damages against Vega for violating his constitutional rights. Tekoh claimed that Vega bullied him into a confession and did not give him his right to a Miranda warning. The court later decided that Vega could not be sued and explained, “the landmark Miranda decision establishes an important prophylactic rule protecting the Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination. But the failure to give a Miranda warning does not automatically equate to a violation of the Fifth Amendment.”
A Look into the Future
Going forward, the failure to administer a Miranda warning to criminals cannot be used against a law enforcement officer in a civil lawsuit. While the Miranda warning protects a constitutional right, the warning itself from officer to suspect is not a right that can trigger a civil lawsuit if it is not given. If a suspect does speak statements of self-incrimination, a defense attorney may be able to have those statement suppressed.