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Reasons for exercising the right to remain silent

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Police have the prerogative to detain any citizen when probable cause exists. Those in cuffs must identify themselves and behave in a nonviolent manner.

Despite this, answering questions can put subjects in jeopardy. The Fifth Amendment grants citizens the right to refuse to answer. Detainees receive a Miranda Warning that advises them of this before an inquiry. Those facing interrogation should consider remaining silent.

Suspects have to deal with an uneven playing field

Detectives who question someone usually believe they have the perpetrator in their midst. Because of this, they frame queries in a manner most likely to elicit responses that show guilt. Subjects cannot win under such conditions. Confirmation bias remains a concern throughout the United States justice system.

Suspects that remain silent are not admitting guilt

Too many believe that refusing to speak with the police shows involvement in a crime. In reality, the government cannot point to a lack of response as evidence. The flip side is that even innocent comments may come back to haunt someone during a trial. Prosecutors can only take advantage of what they hear.

Suspects that confess might not be able to disavow their statements

Sometimes, the accused admits involvement in a legal violation. Once an admission exists, it becomes almost impossible to retract. There may be a time when pleading guilty makes a wise strategy. That moment never comes before an official charge.

Speaking with officers deserves the guidance of an attorney. Beware of responding to cross-examinations at the behest of authorities absent professional instruction.