From movies and television shows to real life, we have all seen the reading
of a suspect’s Miranda rights. The United States Supreme Court and
the Fifth Amendment guarantee your right to remain silent when you are
under criminal investigation.
The right to silence protects us from incriminating ourselves for any criminal
actions. Keep in mind, “anything you say can and will be used against
you in a court of law.” It is imperative to invoke your right to
remain silent early in the criminal process, whether or not you are formally
Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of telling the police everything
they know in order to “tell their side of the story” or explain
their way out of a situation. Remember, what you say could later be used
to build a case against you. It is wise to simply sit quietly and wait
to speak with a lawyer who will be representing you.
However, if you simply remain silent after being read your Miranda rights—or
even if you are not formally in custody—you are not actually invoking
your right to remain silent. Simply put, you need to say something with
regard to your choice to remain silent in order to be silent.
So if you are being questioned for any specific reason and you wish to
not answer questions, you must state something along the lines of “I
wish to invoke my right to remain silent” or “I wish to speak
with a lawyer before answering questions.” Just because you make
such a statement doesn’t mean that you are guilty. In fact, the
opposite is true. An effective legal defense for any criminal charges
works best with the use of these rights.
If you have been arrested for a crime in Ventura County,
contact our experienced
criminal defense lawyer at
The Law Offices of Jarrod M. Wilfert today.