If officers have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime, there is a good chance you may find yourself in handcuffs. Before conducting a custodial interrogation, which is police questioning when you are not free to leave, officers must advise you of your fundamental rights.
The Miranda advisement includes your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney present during police questioning. For a variety of reasons, it is usually a good idea to invoke both of these rights and not to cooperate with the interrogation.
You may incriminate yourself when officers are not present
When officers take you to the police station for questioning, they may place you by yourself inside an interrogation room. This tactic is to make you feel uncomfortable, which may increase your chances of saying something incriminating.
Remember, officers regularly make video and audio recordings of interrogation rooms. If you mumble to yourself or make incriminating statements or movements, prosecutors eventually may use your words or actions against you.
You must stop talking after invoking your rights
When you invoke your right to remain silent or ask for an attorney, officers should immediately stop questioning you. They cannot, however, stop you from talking voluntarily. If you willingly give officers information, your right to remain silent probably does not protect you.
While it may be intimidating to stay silent after asserting your legal rights, doing so is often the most effective way to avoid self-incrimination. Ultimately, regardless of whether officers have evidence against you, you do not want to make their job easier by throwing yourself under the bus.