When getting arrested, an officer is usually required to read you your Miranda rights which state that “You have the right to remain silent.” We have all heard this phrase whether it be in real life or in the movies but why is it such an important factor and what does it actually mean? Here is a quick rundown as to why you should always exercise this right.
Avoiding your words being held against you
The main and most important reason why you should always keep any details of an incident to a minimum is that anything you say will be used as evidence in a case against you. The job of law enforcement is to not only enforce but also put together what has happened. Cases are built by gathering information and they will try to get that information out of you in many different ways, even ones that can get you to say or do things that are not to your benefit. This is the reason why it’s essential to hold off on volunteering details until you have a lawyer.
Allows for your lawyer to guide
As said, you want to avoid talking to police until you have a lawyer and the reason for this is because it allows you guidance from someone who knows how interrogations work and can act as an advocate for your side. Whether you are guilty or innocent, the job of your lawyer is to protect you from receiving unfair or harsh punishment that goes beyond the scale of what you have been accused of doing. By remaining silent until your lawyer is present, you save yourself from unfair questioning designed to have you take the blame and admit fault even if you have not done what is being accused.
Another reason why silence can be of benefit is that words can get misconstrued and saying the wrong thing may get be taken as a potential threat to the officer or non-compliance which could have ramifications on how long you are detained and as well as if and how much your bond cost would be. It’s overall important to stay cordial with enforcement but also be careful with what you are saying.
Important to do even if you are innocent
We are always taught that you should have no problem telling the truth if you have not done anything wrong and in most cases, this is completely true, but when it comes to speaking to the police, it is a little more complicated than that. As said before, they are looking to build a case against you so even if you feel like the truth can only help you, there may be certain details that had nothing to do with the situation at hand that could get you in trouble for any reason. Sometimes any speaking, even if it is not about the topic at hand can give more insight about situations than the person talking may realize.
To sum up, the right to remain silent is there to protect you from not only unfair questioning but to also give you time to work with your lawyer so they can represent you in the best way possible.