The right to remain silent is a right against self-incrimination afforded by the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This right is one of the many Miranda warnings that law enforcement is required to recite to you before questioning you when you are suspected of a crime. Your right to remain silent attaches from the moment your interaction with law enforcement begins. While police should not question you before reading or reciting to you your rights, your right to refrain from answering any questions can be invoked even before law enforcement Mirandizes you. In other words, you do not have to wait for law enforcement to recite to you your right to remain silent before you invoke your right to remain silent.
If you are suspected of a crime and asked to make a statement or answer questions by law enforcement, you should politely inform the interrogator that you wish to remain silent and speak to a lawyer. It is recommended you do this regardless of whether you believe you are actually guilty of a crime. Once you invoke your right to remain silent and request to speak to your attorney, the interrogation should stop immediately, although that does not always happen. Regardless of what the interrogator or other law enforcement officers may say, you do not have to make a statement or answer any questions once you have invoked your constitutional rights. You should also know that an invocation of this right will not be construed by the court as an admission of guilt, and the prosecutor cannot introduce evidence of your silence at trial.
If you have been accused of a crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Lawrence Law Firm have successfully handled a variety of criminal cases. Call 318-232-4000 for a free initial case evaluation.
The blog published by Lawrence Law Firm is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.