In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona. The decision made clear that members of law enforcement must advise suspects of their Constitutional rights. Furthermore, officers must tell suspects about the potential consequences of talking to them.
While most members of law enforcement understand what Miranda requires and try to comply with its framework, it is not uncommon for officers to make mistakes. If an officer fails to advise you of your fundamental rights, you may wonder if you can take legal action against him or her.
A recent Supreme Court opinion
According to reporting from CNN, the U.S. Supreme Court recently answered the question. While officers continue to have an affirmative obligation to provide suspects with the Miranda warning, you cannot sue an officer who fails to do so.
This is true even if officers obtain evidence to use against you. Still, the presiding judge may decide to exclude evidence if officers do not comply with Miranda.
A dangerous precedent
It is important to note the recent Supreme Court decision was not a unanimous one. The dissenting justices assert that the opinion may set a dangerous precedent. That is, if suspects cannot hold offending officers liable in civil court, officers may have less of an incentive to comply with the Miranda framework.
Regardless of whether officers tell you about your right to remain silent and your right to have legal counsel, you still have these rights. Ultimately, exercising them is often one of the more effective ways to avoid incriminating yourself during an interrogation.