Do You Really Have the Right to Remain Silent?

One of the most noticeable aspects of the Miranda rights is your right to remain silent. But what does that actually mean? And what does remaining silent do for you?


The Benefits of Remaining Silent

You don’t have to say anything. Generally, law enforcement wants to have a conversation, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they have malicious intent. But, technically, you don’t have to talk to them. And honestly, remaining silent is your best plan of action in most situations. If you are actually arrested, everything you say can be used against you as evidence. Now, it may be a little awkward and the officer will more than likely be annoyed, but it could save you down the road.

On one end is a standard traffic stop – you’re really only required to give them your driver’s license, insurance and proof of registration. But where it gets complicated is if you’re arrested for a criminal charge. What you say at any time can mean the difference between winning and losing your case in the future. Also, when you arrive at the jail, they’ll ask you general questions to get your specific information. It’s OK to answer simple questions here for the sake of identification (address, date of birth, etc.), but don’t give any more information than is absolutely needed.



Can Anything Happen Because You Remained Silent?

No. They cannot charge you additionally because of your silence. In fact, as stated above, it could get a little awkward, but it can help you tremendously in the long run.

So there you have it. Your best bet generally is to remain silent. This will benefit your record and your legal team’s defense. Your next step once arrested is to contact a thoroughly experienced criminal defense attorney like Jonathan W. McConnell. Remember, two of your biggest assets in any criminal case are remaining silent and choosing the right lawyer.

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Jonathan W. McConnell Criminal Defense Attorney