How Should You Invoke Your Right To Remain Silent?
Whether or not you have interacted with the police, you most likely know of the right to remain silent. This right is granted under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, you may not know when the police must advise you of this constitutional right and how to invoke this right. This article discusses when the police must inform you of your right to stay silent and how to invoke this right.
When Should the Police Inform You of Your Right To Stay Silent?
The police must inform you of your Miranda warnings, which include the right to remain silent if you are in custody and they plan to interrogate you. The police must advise you of your Miranda rights before the custodial interrogation begins. Being “in custody” means that you are not free to leave. Often, people assume that being approached by the police and asked questions means they cannot leave. This is not true. When the police approach you and start interrogating you, the first thing to do is determine if you can leave. You can do this by asking the police whether you can leave. If the police say you can, then you can leave without answering any more questions. If the police say you are not allowed to leave, know you are being subjected to a custodial interrogation.
It is crucial to note that the term “interrogation” does not only relate to direct questioning. It also relates to words or actions the police know are likely to cause you to make incriminating statements. An incriminating statement is any statement that increases the danger of you being accused, charged, or prosecuted, even if the statement is true and even if you are innocent.
When the police take you into custody and begin interrogating you, you may think that talking to them and telling your side of the story is the best thing to do. However, the reality is that if you speak to the police without consulting an attorney, things can go terribly wrong really fast.
How to Invoke Your Right To Remain Silent
After being taken into custody, you must clearly assert your right to remain silent. If you are taken into custody and fail to invoke your right to remain silent clearly, any statements you make may be used as evidence against you. Once you invoke your right to remain silent, the police must stop interrogating you. If the police keep interrogating you after you’ve clearly let them know you do not wish to speak to them, anything you say during the unlawful interrogation cannot be used as evidence against you, as such conduct is a violation of your rights.
So, how can you clearly assert your right to remain silent? Clear and concise statements you can use to invoke your right to remain silent include;
- “I want to remain silent.”
- “I only want to speak to a lawyer.”
- “I choose not to speak to you or answer your questions.”
- “I invoke my right to remain silent or my Miranda rights.”
Saying things like “I am not sure I want to talk to you,” or “Maybe I should speak to my lawyer,” will not suffice.
Contact Us for Legal Help
Our London criminal defense attorneys at Cessna & George Law Firm are dedicated to helping people in Kentucky protect their rights and fight criminal charges. Contact us today at 606-770-5400 or by filling out our online contact form to learn more about how we can help you.