The influence of civil and criminal laws

Subject: Law
Type: Compare and Contrast Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1399
Topics: Crime, Criminal Justice, Injustice, Justice

Overview of cases

The Civil Case, Miranda v. Arizona of 1966 was one of the cases that significantly shaped the United States the Criminal justice system. The Miranda case involved the Plaintiff, Miranda, who was arrested for rape and murder. However, the significance of the case was highlighted by the violation of the Sixth and Fifth Amendment Rights of Ernesto Miranda were violated. Regardless of the fact that the accused was actually guilty, it was found that the police did not follow the required procedure in the arrest and interrogation of the suspect (Miranda v. Arizona). After his arrest, Miranda was detained in a questioning cell, and completely cut off from the rest of the world. For this reason, the suspect was not able to seek either legal or personal help from other people.  In the hearing the court found that the plaintiff was not given the opportunity to defend themselves, or access to a legal aid. This saw the creation of the Miranda statements which require the police to read out the rights an arrested person is entitled to prior to arrest and interrogation. In essence, the case gave rise of the legal legislation that not interrogation should be conducted by the police if the arrested person has invoked their rights to counsel, which is required choice as stated in the constitution.

The criminal case, Warden v. Hayden, 1967 gave a significance consideration of the rights touching of property rights to rules of search and seizure. In this case, a person armed robbed a can company, Diamond Cab. This was instigated two cab drivers to follow the man into an apartment after which they notified they notified the police. On reaching the scene, the police did not have a warrant to search Hayden’s apartment and confiscate any form of evidence that could be useful in a legal proceeding against the suspect (Warden v. Hayden). From the search, police found the gun, and the clothes that matched the description of the robber.

During the hearings, the suspect as charged with armed robbery. This saw recurring appeals that sought to cite the seized evidence was against the stated laws of property rights to rule of search and seizure. During the appeals, it was reiterated that the weapons placed into evidence were collected in a legal way. However, it was stated the mere evidence, the suspects clothing found were not collected in legal manner. In the 1967 Supreme Court hearing, however, it was cited that it was legal to place ‘mere evidence’ as evidence in a criminal case proceeding. The hearing also stated that the fact that police were in pursuit of the robber, it was not required for them to have a warrant in order to search the suspect’s apartment. The significance of the case was that it overruled the previous hearing, Boyd v, United States which stated that a warrant may not be used to search a house for the purpose of collecting evidence that could be used against a suspect in a legal proceeding.

Differences between Criminal and Civil Case

Civil legal proceedings refer to legal cases presented to the courts by an individual, organization, the plaintiff, who seek to presented a case another person or entity, citing legal infringements on agree or assumed terms. The plaintiff presents the case with the objective of seeking compensation for the damages that may be caused, or seek the court to obligate a defendant to take a desired course of action. The civil case presented should be done with consideration or factual proof that a certain constitution provision has been violated.

Apart from two citizens, civil suits may also cases between the bodies including the government. For instance, the government may sue a medical institution for overbilled Medicaid which violates a federal state. Also, a case by an individual against the police department for infringing on civil rights can be also categorised as a civil case.

On the other hand, criminal cases solely involve the right of the government to present a legal proceeding to the courts of a person of the behalf of a victim. This is instigated by the proof and realization that a person has taken part in a crime, or took part in an activity that may in violation of constitutional statutes. Unlike civil cases, criminal cases do not require that a victim presents the case in court; however, the government may realize the crime in question and present the case on the behalf of a victim.

Unique to criminal cases, it is not required that there must be a victim. The state may find that a person or organization has violated the constitutional, by taking part in a criminal activity even without the presence of a victim. In an example, if it is noted that a person was driving intoxicated, the state may bring forth criminal proceeding towards a person. Also, the reprieve or consequence of a criminal case is different from a civil case as the accused has to face consequences stipulated by the constitutional or the court, rather than compensation cited by the plaintiff.

The Reasoning behind the Cases

The reasoning behind the Miranda v. Arizona case is based on the fact that an arrested person should be given the opportunity to defend himself, or prevented from self-incrimination. If the police are given the authority and mandate to extract information, it is probable that incorrect information may be extracted from the suspect, which may be innocently self-incriminating (Gray, 2013). However, these rights may be provided to the police if the suspect does not invoke the right to counsel. For this reason, it is required that the fifth and sixth amendments of suspects to be respected during arrest and interrogation.

The Warden v. Hayden case, on the other hand, is based on the reasoning of that if a piece of evidence may be crucial to a case, then the police should have the obligation to confiscate. In this case, the goal of the police at the scene is to locate any form of evidence that may be useful in the case, or that was visible on the scene of crime. For this reason, the clothing in question was important to the case because the guns alone could not accurate ascertain the presence of the suspect in the crime scene. On the other hand, the police while in hot pursuit of the suspect, there was no enough time to seek a search warrant.

The Influence and outcome of these laws on the American Criminal Justice System

The Miranda case had a significant impact on the Justice System. Firstly, the case gave rise to the development of the Miranda Warnings. This simply involves the need by the arresting police to read out the rights that the suspect may have during the arrest, prior to interrogation and during interrogation. In essence, the Miranda warning involve the police informing the suspect to remain silent, and anything said during and after the arrest may be used as evidence in legal proceedings. Also, the police cite the option to have an attorney, or seek the state to provide an attorney is the suspect cannot afford. This alone allows the arrested person to know their rights, and when invoked the police have to follow the stipulated legal provisions (Gray, 2013).

In the Warden v. Hayden case, the significance of the Supreme Court ruling was based on the extent at which the police can collect evidence from personal property without a warrant. Also, the question of ‘mere evidence’ was concluded as the court cited its legality when presented as evidence (Amar, 2009). From the case, appeals touching on ‘mere evidence’ presentation are referred to the ruling; as well police are given the authority to search a property when in pursuit of a suspect even without an existing warrant.

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The impact of the two cases in the American Justice System is huge considering it touches on constitutional legislation touching on personal rights, and the authority of the police. The Miranda case limits the police exploitation of a suspect without knowledge of their rights which is an important aspect in the current justice system. The Hayden case seeks to increase the limit by which the police can access evidence, regardless of the limitation available when searching and collecting evidence from personal properties.

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  1. Amar, V. (2009). American Civil Procedure: A Guide to Civil Adjudication in US Courts. New York: Kluwer Law International.
  2. Gray, A. (2013). The Right to Silence: Using American and European Law to Protect a Fundamental Right. New Criminal Law Review, 16, (4): 527–567.
  3. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).
  4. Warden v. Hayden, 387 U.S. 294 (1967).
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