Keep your mouth shut: why it's so important to exercise your right to remain silent

If you get pulled over or arrested, you will have to interact with the police. Many people think that cooperating with the police means telling them everything, but this can backfire. Information you provide when pulled over or arrested could be used against you. Learn what it really means to have the right to remain silent and why you should always retain an attorney.

What Is The Right To Remain Silent?

When you are arrested, you have the right to be silent. Anything you say out loud can be used by the other side in a trial. This is sometimes referred to as your Miranda Right, due to the Supreme Court case that established the right.

In addition to the right to remain silent you also have the right to a lawyer. If you can't afford a lawyer, you can get a court-appointed attorney.

If you start talking to the cops about what happened, you may actually waive your right to remain silent and compromise the future potential case. Do not let the cops question you before informing you of your right to remain silent.

It may sound counterintuitive, but you can be cooperative without compromising the case and affecting your future.

What To Do If You Get Arrested

If you ever get arrested, it is important that you not give away your power by sharing information with the cops. Yet many people worry that keeping silent in the moment will actually make them look guilty.

The best course of action if you are stopped by police is to say nothing, and ask that you be allowed to contact your attorney. Stay silent even before you have officially been placed under arrest. If you are talking to the police prior to arrest, you cannot then claim the right to remain silent once informed that you will be arrested. Simply by talking to the police prior to the moment of arrest, you have waived your right to remain silent. The police can allow you to talk, and potentially incriminate yourself, and then inform you of your Miranda Rights after, when the damage has already been done.

If the arresting officer harasses you about your silence, say only that your attorney has advised you to remain silent and you are following that advice. This can remove any suspicion.

A criminal defense attorney can listen to everything you have to say, advise you on what to do, and help you move forward while protecting your rights. If you want to move past an arrest and minimize the impact on your life, then you need an attorney by your side.

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