Under a new Supreme Court ruling, subjects can no longer sue law enforcement for violating their Fifth Amendment rights for not being read the Miranda Rights warning. What does this mean going forward?
What Sparked This Change?
The Vega v. Tekoh, case sparked the turn of events regarding Miranda. A nursing assistant, Tekoh, faced accusations he sexually assaulted an immobile patient at work. A sheriff’s deputy, Vega, obtained a written confession from Tekoh, but Tekoh was later acquitted by a jury of that crime. After being cleared of wrongdoing, Tekoh then sued Deputy Vega, claiming that he was not read his Miranda rights before confessing. Tekoh also claimed that the Deputy bullied and coerced him into confessing. In tossing out that lawsuit, the Supreme Court wrote that ” a violation of Miranda is not itself a violation of the Fifth Amendment” and “we see no justification for expanding Miranda to confer a right to sue.”
A Look into the Future
This is really a minor decision. The rule now says that you can’t sue an officer for money if he failed to give you the Miranda warnings before you make damning statements. Nothing in this decision changes the more important rule on Miranda. That rule, if a person makes self-incriminating statements, while he is not free to leave, his attorney can and should fight to prevent the State from using those statements against him.
CVW’s Short Take: Do not talk to the police if you are under investigation! This is true whether you are under arrest or not! You ALWAYS have these rights, to remain silent AND to have an attorney – so exercise those rights! The EXERCISE of your rights cannot be used against you, but foolish statements can and will.