Why You Should Invoke Your Right to Silence

We all have seen the reading of a suspect’s Miranda rights in movies, television shows, and perhaps in real life. One of the most well-known sentences is “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”

This right to silence enables us to avoid incriminating ourselves for any criminal actions. Whether or not you believe you are guilty, any potentially damaging statements or even inconsistencies in your story to police could be used as evidence to obtain a conviction.

However, many people believe that they can “explain” their way out of any situation or misunderstanding, such as an arrest for a crime. If law enforcement shows an interest in speaking to you about a criminal case, it is because they believe you will provide a statement against your interests and convict yourself of the criminal offense. Furthermore, they do not need to disclose any evidence against you. So just because you have an opportunity to explain “your side of the story,” it will only make matters worse.

Police only have to advise you of your right to remain silent when the following two conditions exist:

  1. You are in custodial detention
  2. Law enforcement wishes to interrogate you for a criminal offense

As soon as an officer reads your Miranda rights, it is critical to express your desire to remain silent by stating something along the lines of “I wish to invoke my right to remain silent” or “I wish to consult with an attorney.” Even when in custody and after Miranda rights have been read, if you simply remain silent without stating your wish to remain silent, you may not be actually invoking your right.

Many people feel intimidated or frightened when invoking these rights because saying such a statement makes them appear guilty. However, the opposite is true. A strong legal defense for any criminal charge benefits from these rights.

If you have been arrested for a crime in Minneapolis, contact our experienced criminal defense lawyer at Brockton D. Hunter P.A. today.