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Invoking your right to remain silent: What to know

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Anyone who’s watched crime shows on television or similar movies have likely heard police reading people their Miranda rights — and that includes the defendant’s right to remain silent. 

How, though, do you make use of your rights? You have to be proactive, not passive. Here’s what you need to know

How to invoke your right to remain silent

The police are only required to remind you of your Miranda rights when you are both in their custody and undergoing questioning. So, make no mistake: If you’ve been read your Miranda rights, you’re definitely in a precarious situation. 

If you’re ready to invoke your right to remain silent, you must do so clearly. The officers can continue to question you if you simply sit there in silence while they interrogate you — and they probably will, in hopes of breaking you down. 

Telling them that you’re invoking your right to remain silent means that the questioning has to cease. If you’re still questioned after you invoke that right, it’s a violation of your rights. Anything that’s said can’t be used in a case against you. Your silence can’t be perceived as an admission of guilt. 

Anyone who’s facing criminal charges should ensure they invoke their rights. This is often critical to your defense strategy since the police can’t use anything you say against you if you don’t say anything at all. 

If you’re being arrested or questioned, it’s best to utilize your right to remain silent until you’ve had a chance to carefully consider your defense options.