Whenever the police arrest a suspect, they will likely use intimidation tactics to get that person to incriminate themself. Crime movies and TV shows will tell you that talking to the police is usually not a good idea. However, many people give in to their anxiety during an arrest and then try to justify themselves to the officers, attempt to talk their way out of it or forget to exercise their right to remain silent.
Understanding your Miranda rights
Most people are familiar with the Miranda rights or the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent,” thanks to TV. These rights stem from the Fifth Amendment in the United States Constitution, which protects individuals from self-incrimination during an interrogation.
When a law enforcement officer is reciting your Miranda rights, they are essentially making sure you understand and acknowledge your constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment and the potential legal consequences of waiving those rights.
In the past, law enforcement would use intimidation and torture to extract a confession. These days, they rely on psychological strategies. Even if you are completely innocent, there is still a chance they will twist your words.
Thanks to the Fifth Amendment and the Miranda warning, you do not have to answer the police officer’s questions. Additionally, a judge may rule that your statements are invalid as evidence in court if police officers did not recite your Miranda rights before interrogation.
Invoking your right to remain silent
There is no one specific way to invoke your rights. You may simply state that you are exercising your right to remain silent and will continue to do so until you have spoken to an attorney.
If you waive your right to remain silent but change your mind, you may still invoke your rights later in the interrogation. However, you cannot retract any information you have already shared with the police.
When should you talk?
You may give the arresting officer your name and age. Other than basic information, it is in your best interest to avoid talking about your arrest. Otherwise, you risk sharing information unknowingly.
Consider speaking about your case only with a criminal defense attorney. They can guide you on the best ways to handle an interrogation, help you defend your rights and build a defense strategy for your case.