Call Us Today! (928) 753-6868

Legal News

How To Assert Your Right To Remain Silent

Posted by Shawn B. Hamp | Sep 09, 2020 | 0 Comments


You know that you have the right to remain silent in the face of questioning by law enforcement. You may not know, however, that you have to affirmatively assert this right, or risk losing (or “waiving”) it. In other words, you must speak up and make known your choice to remain silent.

After an Arrest

If you are arrested, you are going to be interrogated. The point of this interrogation is to gather information for the prosecutor to use against you, and maybe even get you to confess. The interrogating officer might offer to drop certain charges or promise to go easy on you or get you a better deal if you just tell him what he wants to hear. Don't believe it. In general, if the police had sufficient evidence against you to go forward with the case and obtain a conviction, they wouldn't be offering you a deal.

"The point of this interrogation is to gather information for the prosecutor to use against you, and maybe even get you to confess."

Moreover, the police officer sitting across from you in the interrogation room has no real power to cut you a deal or drop the charges. Although the police can make recommendations, the prosecutor determines (a) whether the government will offer you a plea bargain and (b) what the terms of that bargain will be. Accordingly, the smartest thing you can do is to assert your right to remain silent.

Silence – even prolonged silence – is not enough to invoke this right. You must speak up and unambiguously announce that (a) you are not going to speak to the officers, and (b) you want a lawyer. Say, for example, “I wish to remain silent. I will not answer any questions. I want to speak to a lawyer.”

Once you have invoked your rights, stop talking. Your choice to remain silent cannot be used against you at trial, but any statements you make can be. Even “self-serving” statements almost always will hurt you at trial.



We Can Help

It is not easy to stand up to law enforcement and assert your rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney can shield you from overreaching by the government and greatly improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome to your case.

We are available to help if you need us. Please don't hesitate to call.

About the Author

Shawn B. Hamp

President and lead counsel for the Law Offices of Shawn B. Hamp, P.C. (An Arizona Professional Corporation), Shawn Hamp has practiced law for more than 15 years with an emphasis in criminal law. An experienced trial attorney, Mr. Hamp has been lead counsel in hundreds of criminal trials and court...

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you may be feeling frightened, anxious, and uncertain of what your future holds. The competent and experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Shawn B. Hamp can help you during this difficult time. We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of our clients and providing excellent legal representation to those who have been accused of a crime. Contact our firm today to discuss your case.

Menu