The Right to Remain Silent
One of the very few things an individual controls during an encounter with the police is whether to speak. The police do not interrogate to find out the individual’s opinion or belief about what happened. Additionally, they do not give latitude for mistakes. Furthermore, they do not tolerate lies. The right to remain silent means exactly that—silence. Upon arrest, the police must warn the individual as follows:
First, the individual has the right to remain silent.
Second, anything the individual says can be used against her in a court of law.
Third, the individual has the right to the presence of an attorney before questioning begins.
Fourth, if the individual wants an attorney, but cannot afford one, the court will appoint a lawyer before any questioning.
Finally, the individual can exercise her rights at any time during the interrogation.
Before interrogating anyone deprived of freedom of action in any significant way, the cops must warn the individual about her rights. This obligation certainly applies when the individual is locked up in jail. Although the cops may suggest otherwise, these warnings are not casual. Do you think they would do it if the Supreme Court of the United States had not ordered it?1
Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding the privilege against self-incrimination. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.
1 Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).