You do have the right to remain silent

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2021 | criminal defense

It is said that silence is golden, and you have a right to it in the criminal justice system. The right to silence is a legal concept that guarantees anyone the right to remain silent and refrain from answering questions from law enforcement or court officials.

It may help you avoid making self-incriminating statements while protecting you from adverse inferences by the judge or jury about the refusal to answer questions or make statements.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law

If you make self-incriminating statements or answer questions to police after being made aware of your rights, it may be relied on in court as evidence. In addition, you cannot later reclaim your rights and choose to remain silent. Should you decide to cooperate with law enforcement, you may have just signed off some of your rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Make your voice heard

In a 2010 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an individual must specifically invoke the right to remain silent. Otherwise, selective silence can be used against them in court. If you are in such a situation, verbally asserting that you have invoked your right to remain silent will ensure a clear indication of your intentions, and that way, your silence will not come up in trial.

There is a lot that may go wrong depending on whatever you say before or during your arrest. It may shape a lot and even play a part in the trial process as evidence. Keeping silent may be the first step, but staying ahead of the situation and knowing what steps to take might be your saving grace. Do not let reckless statements made in the heat of the moment weigh down on your case.