Anyone who has watched a "cop show" on TV has heard them use the phrase "you have the right to remain silent." This is actually part of your Miranda rights that police are legally obligated to advise you of, if you are being arrested or formally questioned. This warning gives you the warning that anything you say may be used by prosecutors in the case against you. But many people wonder, do I really need to stay quiet? The answer to that is yes, you should not talk to police. It is in your best interest to exercise your right and talk to an attorney first.
The Miranda rights stem from a legal case in 1966, Miranda v. Arizona, where a court ruled that a person in police custody must be advised of their rights and that their statements can be used against them, as the defendant in the Miranda case was unaware that this could happen. Since then, police officers across the country, and on TV, have been uttering the Miranda rights, which include:
- Letting the suspect know that he or she has the right to remain silent and not talk to police
- That if you choose to talk, anything you say can and will most likely be used against you in court
- You have the right to retain an attorney to represent you.
- If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you by the court.
Break Your Silence With Your Lawyer
You do have the option to give up any of these rights, but it highly advisable that you exercise each and every one of them. It is much better for you if you have said nothing to police than if you have said something that your lawyer must explain away during trial. The person with whom you should break your silence is your attorney. Telling him or her your story can provide much needed insight into how to begin crafting your defense. If you or someone you know is in need of representation, get in touch with a criminal defense attorney today to learn more about your rights.