State and federal laws, as well as legal precedent, are constantly changing. Those accused of criminal offenses need to understand the law that they allegedly violated and also relevant prior cases if they intend to defend themselves in criminal court.
The rulings that judges enter in major court cases, especially when those cases go through the appeals process, can establish important legal precedent that influences future prosecutions. In 1966, the United States Supreme Court heard a case related to criminal charges involving violations of the defendant’s rights. Their ruling established the requirement for officers to read the Miranda Warning to individuals under arrest prior to interrogating or questioning them.
Ever since, the Miranda Warning has helped alert those under arrest of their rights. A key legal option involving the Miranda Warning just changed following a June Supreme Court ruling.
Civil recourse is no longer an option
For decades, there have been two legal consequences for criminal defendants who can prove that police officers violated their Miranda rights. The first is that they can potentially prevent the courts from having access to their statements to the police. In some cases, the courts may even exclude confessions from consideration.
The second legal consequence of a Miranda violation was potentially a lawsuit. Someone who believed that the police had violated their rights could file a civil lawsuit against the officers involved and seek compensation. Such lawsuits are no longer an option following the Supreme Court ruling on a case from California. Those affected by Miranda violations will no longer be able to take the police officers involved to civil court.
What does this change mean for defendants?
When defendants believe that he meant Miranda violation has taken place, they will want to speak up about the issue to their attorney as soon as possible. That way, their attorney can proactively address the matter and potentially prevent the case from going to court.
You will have a better chance of succeeding in court when you understand the rules that apply. Keeping track of the changing standards in the criminal justice system will help you better stand up for your rights when facing charges.