You have a right under the Fifth Amendment to not make self-incriminating statements. This is one of the rights commonly referred to as “Miranda rights.” What they say on TV is true — you have the right to remain silent, because anything you say can and will be used against you in a Pennsylvania criminal court. In many situations, it is not in your best interest to speak to the police.
Even though statements made in custody can be thrown out if police did not advise you of your rights, it is still better to have an attorney represent you and help you control the narrative. Before you do anything else, talk to a lawyer. We make sure your side of the story is told in a way that makes a positive outcome more likely for your case. It is better to not speak in the first place than to try to mitigate damaging statements later.
To assert your right to remain silent, clearly state that you intend to do so. Sitting silent will not necessarily prevent police from continuing to question you after reading you your rights (also known as the Miranda warning). You can also invoke your right to silence before your rights are read to you.
The most important thing to know about these rights are that they must be clearly and unequivocally stated to be effective. A few methods of asserting your right to silence are:
If you think your Miranda rights have been violated or you need advice on making statements to police, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at McCormick & Vilushis LLC can help. Call our Erie office at 814-455-5362 today or send us an email to schedule a free consultation.
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