Far too many people have a misunderstanding about their right to remain silent. This means that you could be unintentionally putting yourself at risk of a criminal conviction. You certainly don’t want that. So, what is the full extent of your right to remain silent?
Your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination
To start, you have Constitutional protections against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. This means that you never have to talk to the police. You don’t even have to testify in criminal court if the answer to a question could incriminate you. So, regardless of what the police tell you, silence is always an option.
Your Miranda rights
If you’re subjected to custodial interrogation, meaning that you’re being questioned by the police and they won’t let you leave, then law enforcement is required to inform you of your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. Remember, though, you always have those rights, even before you get to custodial interrogation.
In your case, though, whether you were being subjected to custodial interrogation and were advised of your Miranda rights can be key. This is because a confession or other harmful statements made in violation of your rights can be suppressed, meaning that you can block the prosecution from using those statements against you.
So, although you should never talk to the police without an attorney present, if you already talked, then you should carefully consider the circumstances of that questioning to determine if you have an opening for your criminal defense.
Protecting your interests during a criminal investigation
Your criminal defense doesn’t start with being charged with a crime. It starts with being approached by the police. With that in mind, you may want to consider securing legal assistance when you start being asked questions about a crime. Fortunately, skilled criminal defense attorneys like those at our firm stand ready to help you.