Miranda Rights in Pennsylvania
Recently, the Supreme Court made a decision that affects all or our rights, and specifically, our Miranda Rights.
From every cop show in America, we know them by heart, because they’re always a version of the following:
“You have the right to remain silent,” a police officer advises a suspect under arrest. “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided to you.”
It stems from the idea that no person should be made to be a witness against him or herself, and although the Miranda warning does not need to be said before an arrest, it DOES need to be said before any interrogation if it is going to hold up in a court of law.
Fun Fact: Although most people ARE read their Miranda Rights before an interrogation, over 90% of them will talk to the police without an attorney present because they believe that they can explain what happened in a way that will result in fewer or no charges. But remember from our Criminal Procedure Lessons! Police only charge; they do not have any say as to whether the District Attorney (the Prosecutor) will reduce charges!
The so-called “Miranda warning,” routinely administered by American law enforcement since the 1960s, came into the national spotlight last week when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police officers can’t be sued for not advising detained suspects of their right to remain silent during an interrogation.
The ruling does not remove the requirement that police “Mirandize” suspects before questioning them. It does, however, shield officers from civil liability if they fail to do so, potentially reducing their incentive to comply.
In other words, the Supreme Court ruled that police officers can’t be sued for not advising detained suspects of their right to remain silent during an interrogation. This means that officers can’t be held responsible if they don’t tell suspects that they have the right to remain silent.