Most people are aware of their basic rights on an arrest. However, the situation can be unnerving and can make it difficult for you to figure out the best way to protect your interests. Your right to remain silent is often referenced in television and movies but it’s difficult to know how you can truly exercise it. While you might think that trying to explain your side of the story will increase your chances of success, you’re more likely to incriminate yourself accidentally. Less is more when you’re talking to the police, and only your lawyer can offer you confidentiality.
Your right to remain silent is under the 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Police must advise you of your Miranda rights, including your right to remain silent when they interrogate someone who is in custody.
This includes words or actions that police officers can reasonably assume will elicit an incriminating response. Furthermore, being in custody refers to a situation in which a reasonable individual in the same circumstances would not feel he or she was free to leave. The prosecution can also not use your silence as evidence of guilt in a court of law.
Many people who are interested in protecting their 5th Amendment rights will say so in a statement reflecting that under the advice of counsel, they have been encouraged to exercise their 5th Amendment rights. Retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been accused of a crime is important because your lawyer will help you to protect your rights and advise you against making common mistakes.
If the police try to encourage you to provide more information than is necessary, using your right to remain silent or ask for your attorney. These steps can avoid common mistakes in your case.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.