What Does The Right To Remain Silent Mean?
Almost everyone has heard the sentences, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Television cop shows use this dialogue, also known as the Miranda warning, often — but what do the phrases truly mean?
The right not to testify against oneself is a fundamental right for every American. At Craig Williams, Attorney at Law, PLLC, we want to help you understand your constitutional right to remain silent.
The Fifth Amendment, Miranda Rights And You
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution protects you from having to incriminate yourself by speaking to police officers or testifying against yourself in court. In 1966, the Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that police officers must read you a warning when taking you into custody:
- You have the right to remain silent
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law
- You have the right to an attorney
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you
However, cops do not have to read this warning if they are questioning you during an investigation. Before you answer any questions, state that you wish to remain silent.
Why You Should Never Speak To Cops Without A Lawyer
Even if you have not done anything wrong, you should never speak to police officers without an attorney present. Many people accidentally say something incriminating, even if they are completely innocent. Some police officers may try to twist your words to make you look suspicious. Instead, TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE EXERCISING YOUR RIGHT TO SILENCE. Then, DEMAND A DEFENSE ATTORNEY.
Remain Silent And Get A Lawyer
Whether law enforcement is investigating you or has arrested you, get a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights. Contact Craig Williams, Attorney at Law, PLLC, in Prescott, and we will defend you. To schedule a consultation, call 928-759-0000 or send us an email.