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Here’s what you need to know about your right to remain silent

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2022 | Criminal defense |

Most people know that they have a right to remain silent. But what does that mean? If you don’t fully understand your rights, then you could end up being taken advantage of by sneaky investigators and prosecutors.

The extent of your right to remain silent

First, let’s set the record straight that you have a Constitutional right against self-incrimination. This means that you never have to give the police a statement, regardless of what they say. So, if you don’t want to talk, then don’t. In fact, that’s probably your best option until you can speak with your attorney.

What about Miranda rights?

When you’re subjected to custodial interrogation, law enforcement is required to read you your Miranda rights. This includes your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney present during questioning. If law enforcement continues with an interrogation without reading you your rights, then you may be able to prevent the prosecution from using any statements that you made during that interrogation against you.

But what is a custodial interrogation?

Good question. A custodial interrogation is any questioning that occurs when you’re being held by law enforcement and you’re not free to leave. So, one way to determine if you’re being interrogated is simply to ask if you’re free to leave.

The police may try to be tricky, though, by buddying up to you and asking you questions the answers to which may be incriminating. So, make sure you clarify if you’re being held in custody and don’t fall into their traps.

Discuss your concerns with your attorney

It’s a good idea to have an attorney on your side from the beginning of an investigation into criminal wrongdoing. But even if you didn’t and you subsequently face criminal charges, a criminal defense attorney may be able to look at the circumstances of your case and determine if your rights were violated. If they were, then arguments may be crafted to suppress evidence and maximize your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.

To learn more about your criminal defense options, please consider reaching out to a law firm that you think will give you the advocacy that you deserve.