Flashback to the last time you watched a show about cops, right before the handcuffs go on their wrists the police officer is reading the suspect their rights. This is not just for TV. The police officer or officers have to read you your rights when placing you under arrest. This procedure stems from a court case in 1966, Miranda v. Arizona. Hence, why they are called your Miranda rights. These rights are an addition to the fifth amendment which states you have the right to say nothing to avoid self incrimination.
When Are You Advised of Your Rights?
A police officer must read you your rights when you are being interrogated in custody. The term interrogation can include anything the police officer would do that could lead the suspect to incriminate them self. Also custody means when the suspect can’t or believes they are not free to leave.
The Silent Killer
It is important to note, only when you have been read your Miranda rights can your silence not be used against you. Police can ask you questions before reading your Miranda rights, and you being silent on a certain question can imply guilt which can be used against you in court. In any of the following situations your silence can be used against you:
not in police custody
voluntarily submitting to questioning
not expressing Fifth Amendment rights
In order to prevent a situation where your silence can be used against you, you need to explicitly tell you’re interrogator you are invoking the right against self-incrimination. Therefore, you are clearly demonstrating your right to the Fifth Amendment. Make sure this has been clearly stated, because just being quiet or saying nothing at all is not invoking your right to avoid self incrimination.
What You Need To Do?
All scenarios are different and there is no cookie cutter answer. It helps to have an attorney with over 25+ years fighting for you. Tell us about your case on our contact page.