Anyone who has ever watched a police drama on television knows the boilerplate language pertaining to your right to remain silent. Yet, in real life, many people misunderstand how the right to remain silent applies to them, which can leave them in a precarious position where their interests jeopardized. That’s why it’s important that you know the extent of your rights and how to properly utilize them.
When the right to remain silent applies
You have a Constitutional right that protects you from making self-incriminating statements. Therefore, you don’t have to talk to the police if you don’t want to. However, what most people think of as the right to remain silent, meaning the reading of that right as required by a Supreme Court case known as Miranda, is only given once an individual is subjected to custodial interrogation. This means that if you’ve been taken into custody, are not free to leave, and are being questioned by law enforcement, then you should be read your Miranda rights.
So, be wary of police officers who try to talk to you without taking you into custody, recognize that you don’t have to talk to them and that they aren’t required to give you notice of your right to remain silent. Those officers, can, though, use any statements that you make against you. It’s always best to have a lawyer by your side when talking to the police, and simply requesting counsel can bring questioning to a halt.
Protect your rights to the fullest extent
You have a lot of rights under the law that are meant to ensure that you receive fairness during the investigatory and prosecutorial processes. But far too often individuals have to diligently work to ensure that their rights are protected. That’s why many individuals who have been accused of a criminal offense turned to an experienced criminal defense attorney for assistance.