Most people understand that they have the right not to speak if the police question or charge them with a crime, but is not speaking the right thing to do? If you do not answer the questions, does it make you look guilty? If you are facing criminal charges and unsure what to do, you should remain silent. Here are several things to know if you are ever in this situation.
Remaining Silent Protects You
When the police ask you questions or arrest you for a crime, it is usually better not to say anything. If you say things, the police might record your words and have evidence to use later in the case. You might feel angry during an arrest, especially if you are innocent, and you might say things you do not mean. You might even get in further trouble for arguing with the police. There is also a chance you might say things that make you look guilty of the crime, even if you are innocent.
When you initially have an interaction with the police, staying quiet is often the best option. By remaining silent, your words cannot have any adverse effects on you in your case. You can contact a criminal defense lawyer from jail if you get arrested, and you can ask the lawyer what you should and should not say.
Remaining Silent Is Your Right
After your arrest, you will have a court process to complete. You should not go through this process without hiring a criminal defense lawyer. Your lawyer will tell you when to speak and when to stay quiet. Your attorney will also explain that this is your right. The criminal law process is set up in a way that gives defendants some rights, and remaining quiet is just one of the rights you have.
As your case proceeds, you might face the decision to speak at your trial. Defendants always have the option of taking the stand to testify, but most lawyers do not recommend this to people facing charges. Taking the stand in your case opens the possibilities for the prosecution for tricking you into saying things that make you look guilty. It also presents the opportunity for the prosecution for digging up dirt on you to use in court to make you look bad.
If you have questions about your rights in a criminal case, talk to a criminal defense lawyer.