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What should you know about your right to remain silent?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2022 | federal offenses | 0 comments

The Miranda warning is something that many people know about especially because of its common recitation on shows about police officers.

However, many people do not know about the specific details of the Miranda warning. Many people do not even know when it begins to apply.

Avoiding self-incrimination

The United States Courts discusses in detail your right to remain silent. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution means that everyone has a right to not speak to anyone, including police officers, in order to avoid self-incrimination. But officers typically only need to remind a person of these rights before they conduct some sort of interrogation.

Specifically, this occurs during custodial interrogations. In these interrogations, a person is not free to leave the questioning. It is hard to tell when a person is in custody sometimes. A good rule of thumb is if a person is in the officer’s car or handcuffs, they likely are in custody.

The easiest tell, however, is for a person to simply ask if they are free to go. An officer cannot lie and pretend that they are not if that is not the case.

Staying silent in and out of interrogations

To secure convictions, prosecutors often use statements made both in custodial interrogations and out of them. Thus, it is often best to stay silent. However, a person should verbally invoke their right to remain silent so as not to leave any room for doubt about the option chosen.

The person should then stop speaking immediately because officers and prosecutors can and will use anything said voluntarily against a person later in court.