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Can you remain silent during interrogation?

Can you remain silent during interrogation
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Can you remain silent during interrogation?

Remember seeing a film or television show set in a courtroom knowing that when a person is on trial for a crime, they can “plead the fifth” and remain silent during interrogation. This means that they do not have to testify at their trial. A person can also exercise this right during an interrogation. 

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What The Fifth Amendment Guarantees 

Not only does the Fifth Amendment give people who have been accused of a crime the right to refuse testimony, but it also states that a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime. It gives citizens the right to a grand jury as well as the right to due process. 

The Fifth Amendment and Interrogation

Whenever an officer arrests a person, they must read them their Miranda Rights. This includes the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present. Once a person has been informed of their Miranda Rights, any information that they disclosed during an interrogation becomes admissible as evidence.

The Fifth Amendment will not stop the police from interrogating you. However, A suspect must waive the right to remain silent for statements made during an interrogation to be used as evidence. 

This waiver is not always explicit. If they have been read their Miranda Rights and talk during interrogation, it is considered a waiver of their Fifth Amendment right. It should be established that a suspect understood their Miranda Rights. 

It is best never to answer interrogation questions by police without an attorney present. 

Exercising Your Right to Remain Silent 

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Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

The simplest way to inform the police that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent is merely telling them that you are exercising the right to remain silent. You can also let them know that you want to talk to your attorney first or wish to wait until your attorney is present. Once you have invoked your Miranda Right to remain silent, the police cannot continue interrogating you.

Most attorneys would recommend that you are not ambivalent when talking to the police. You shouldn’t say things like “I might want to talk to an attorney” or “I think it is in my best interest not to say anything.” That is implying that you are temporarily waiving your right to remain silent. “ An interrogator might try to take advantage of that. You can visit strolenylaw.com for more information about your Miranda rights in general. 

How to pick the correct attorney

The attorney you select should have many years of experience in criminal law and in arguing cases that are just like yours. Your attorney should be well versed not only in Fifth Amendment rights but in the laws of your particular state,

Ask a lawyer about their experience and their track record of wins and losses. Ask them how much time they will have to devote to your case. Be sure to visit the State Bar website to ensure that they do not have any complaints against them. They should be able to provide you with several references as well.

If you have been accused of any crime, your number one priority should be protecting your freedom. Familiarizing yourself with your first amendment rights is key to getting the fairest trial possible.

 

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