Understanding Your Right To Remain Silent
An arrest is simply the action that happens when a police officer has reason to believe that a person committed a crime. It does not indicate guilt in any way. When an arrest happens, the police are required to inform a suspect of their Miranda rights under the law. Miranda rights explain that someone being arrested has a legal right to remain silent and the right to have legal counsel.
The police will ask questions after an arrest but that does not mean that a suspect has to answer them. It is typically recommended to take advantage of the legal right to silence and consider waiting until an attorney is present before proceeding with any questioning. If you live in or around Tempe, Arizona and you were arrested, call the experienced Tempe criminal defense attorney Chuck Franklin immediately at 480-545-0700 to learn more about your legal rights.
Importance of Miranda Rights
When you are stopped and arrested by the police, anything you say and do can be used against you. The police are skilled interrogators and know how to ask tactical questions. These questions are meant to extract information from a suspect they arrest to use against them in court. Police learn about what Miranda rights are and how to administer them when they train at Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers.
Dangers of Refusing Miranda Rights
A suspect that unknowingly provides information could be giving the police information to use against them when they go to court. Failing to invoke one’s Miranda rights means that anything said will be admissible in court. It also means that the aggressive questioning by the police will continue.
An arrest is a very distressing event. This is especially true if a suspect has never had any experience with police interrogation. In many cases, a person may not know their rights or what they should do under the circumstances. This fear of the unknown along with the natural anxiety of an arrest can be overpowering and cause a person to be unable to think clearly. This may lead to them making admissions that are highly damaging to the criminal case against them.
Continuing To Speak After Miranda Rights Are Read
When a suspect is read their Miranda rights, they may decide to waive the right. For this to happen, it must be clear that the suspect does not intend to take advantage of their right to silence. Though, that does not necessarily mean that the suspect must actually say that they are waiving their rights. If a suspect is read their Miranda rights, understands them, but continues to freely speak, their words will be permitted in court as evidence.
What to Expect After You Invoke Your Right To Remain Silent
The first thing to do is to unequivocally invoke your right to remain silent. This can be accomplished by telling the arresting officer any of the following:
- I am invoking my right to remain silent.
- I want to invoke my Miranda right and remain silent.
- I am exercising my Miranda right to remain silent.
- I am going to remain silent and only speak to my attorney.
There are no set guidelines or set statements that will help a suspect invoke their right to silence. These are just some examples of how to clearly make it known that you do not want to speak and answer questions.
Make Sure You Are Clear Regarding Your Right To Remain Silent
You must ensure that you make the statement unambiguously. This means that however you choose to make a statement that invokes your right to remain silent, it must be understood by a reasonable police officer that you intend on only speaking with your attorney. Making unclear statements that are not direct may not be adequate for protection. Some examples include:
- Maybe I should call a lawyer.
- I think I should speak to an attorney.
- I plan on invoking my Miranda rights.
Why You Must Be Clear Regarding Your Miranda Rights
Police know how the system works. Unless a suspect has experience dealing with the criminal justice system, it is unlikely that they will understand these intricacies. Make no mistake, when questions are being asked of a suspect, the interrogator will know exactly how to pick apart everything that the suspect says.
The police must stop probing you when you invoke your right to remain silent. Should the police continue to ask questions of you after it has been made known that you want to remain silent, this is unlawful. Therefore, the words you say will not be allowed in court if they are spoken after you have invoked your legal right to remain silent.
Chuck Franklin is a criminal defense attorney that has been advocating for the rights of defendants for more than three decades. Consider contacting a Tempe criminal defense lawyer to learn more about your legal rights following an arrest, and ensure they remain protected.
Connect an Experienced Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Miranda rights are an extremely important part of the criminal justice system in the United States. The right to remain silent keeps the system fair and balanced by affording defendants the right to avoid self-incrimination. This is a fundamental right that is given to all Americans by way of the United States Constitution.
If you are arrested for any crime, consider retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn all of your legal options. The quality of the legal counsel chosen is also important to the outcome of your case. When your future is on the line, you should consider visiting with an attorney who has specific experience with criminal law. Chuck Franklin has been practicing law since 1987 and can provide you with legal guidance and support. Call today to schedule an initial, free consultation at 480-545-0700.
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