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Exercising Your Right to Remain Silent

 Posted on May 09, 2024 in Criminal Defense

TX defense lawyerMany Americans are familiar with hearing “You have the right to remain silent” anytime someone gets arrested in a movie or TV show. This phrase is the beginning of the Miranda warning, something arresting officers are legally required to say before a suspect can be interrogated. The purpose of this warning is to ensure that criminal suspects, who have no reason to be proficient in legal knowledge, are aware of their constitutional rights that protect them from self-incrimination. Being arrested or brought in for questioning can be stressful and confusing, and even if you are innocent, you might not be thinking straight and might mistakenly say or do something that can be used later on to indicate your guilt. This article will explore the Miranda warning, but if you are accused of a crime, make sure to have a qualified Austin, TX criminal defense lawyer present for any questioning to protect your legal rights.

The Miranda Warning Explained

Regardless of the crime you are suspected of committing, you have certain rights as an American citizen that need to be protected during the criminal procedure. The Miranda warning is a list of rights that are provided for in the 15th and 16th Amendments, and what it includes is generally some variation on the following aspects:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • If you choose not to exercise that right, whatever you say can be used against you at any point during the legal proceedings related to this case
  • You have the right to an attorney, even if you cannot afford one, in which case the state will provide you with one.

This information can have a significant impact on the outcome of an interrogation. Some suspects might mistakenly think it would benefit them to be open and forthcoming when they are held for questioning. The police might manipulate them to act against their own best interests either by tempting them with offers of leniency in exchange for cooperating and providing information or intimidating them with threats of harsher consequences if they do not.

Whether you are tricked into saying something that could be misinterpreted as incrimination or you willingly offer information because you think you have nothing to hide and the police will appreciate your openness, speaking without a lawyer present is never advisable. If you are asked anything, keep repeating that you want your lawyer and do not say anything else.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Austin, TX Defense Lawyer

If you are suspected of committing a crime, make sure you have a Midland, TX defense attorney present for all questioning. At Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC., we are passionate about protecting our clients’ rights. Call us at 512-474-2222 to schedule a free consultation.

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