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The Importance of Remaining Silent

When you are being placed under arrest, one of the law enforcement officers present is supposed to remind you of your Miranda rights, sometimes called the Miranda warning. Odds are pretty high that you have heard this before. In particular, one portion of it probably stands out: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.” Why do the police have to tell you this warning during each arrest? And why is it so important?

Your Miranda rights are more or less an extension of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Fifth states that you cannot be forced to be a witness against yourself when suspected of a criminal act. It does not, however, explicitly say that you can’t provide evidence against yourself. So if you walk up to the police and tell them you committed arson, they can arrest you and use that in court, especially in conjunction with other evidence of the crime. Being read the Miranda warning during your arrest is just that: a warning. Stay quiet or reap what you sow.

Talk is Cheap, Convictions are Expensive

The State and its law enforcement officials do not want to spend the time and money necessary to get a conviction for your case. If they could get you to admit guilt upfront, it would be so much easier and less expensive for them. Police officers during an arrest are trained to ask leading questions that seem innocuous on the surface but can actually get you to make it seem like you did in fact commit a crime.

It is so important that you stay silent and only answer basic questions that they can get answers to by other means, like “What is your name?”, to avoid wandering into a verbal pitfall. You can actually get officers to stay just as quiet if you inform them clearly and concisely that you would like to use your Fifth Amendment right to only speak once you have retained an attorney’s representation. While the officer can still ask you questions, they probably will not, knowing that if they push too hard for a statement, they could violate your rights and get the case thrown out entirely.

Have you been arrested for a crime in Georgia? Allow our Gwinnett County criminal defense attorney from Fox Firm, P.C. to take up your case. If you are just in the beginning stages of being charged for an alleged crime, we can come to your aid and ensure you say the right things to the authorities. Call (770) 884-7469 today!

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