What Can I Do if the Police Violate my Miranda Rights?

criminal interrogationOne of the common complaints we hear from our clients is: “The police never read me my Miranda rights!” Unfortunately, after hearing this, we have to break the bad news to our clients: “It is not illegal for the police to not read you your Miranda rights.”

However, to be clear, if you are in police (1) custody and (2) questioned by the police, then the police do have to read you Miranda rights for the prosecutor to use your statements against you in court. If you are not “in custody,” or not “questioned” by the police, then your statements will be used against you in court.

So, for example, if you are arrested by the police and you run your mouth to the officer without the officer asking you a question, your statements will be used against you in court. Alternatively, if you are not “in custody,” and a police officer asks you questions, your statements will be used against you in court. Also, please remember that even if the police violate your Miranda rights and get a statement from you, if you testify at your trial and say something different than what you initially told the police, your statements to the police can be used against you in court.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court—as is its current custom to do—took away another right from you. The Supreme Court held last week that if the police violate your Miranda rights, you cannot later sue the police civilly for money damages. Justice Samuel Alito said that a violation of a person’s Miranda rights “is not itself a violation of the Fifth Amendment.” The Court concluded that “we see no justification for expanding Miranda to confer a right to sue.”

You can read about the decision here: SCOTUS Says You Can’t Sue the Cops for Violating Your Miranda Rights (reason.com) and here: Miranda rights: Supreme Court limits ability to enforce Miranda rights – CNNPolitics

You can read the decision here: 21-499 Vega v. Tekoh (06/23/2022) (supremecourt.gov)

If you are ever stopped, arrested, or questioned by the police and need an aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to defend your rights, your first call should be to the Nobles & Yanez Law Firm at (702) 641-6001.