Understanding Your Right to Remain Silent After a Criminal Accusation
If you have been accused of a crime, it is important to understand your rights. One of the most important rights you have is the right to remain silent. This means that you do not have to say anything to the police or anyone else that could incriminate yourself. Often, simply staying quiet is one of the best things a criminal suspect can do to maximize his or her chances of getting the charges dismissed or receiving an acquittal. Unfortunately, remaining silent is often easier said than done. Police and investigators use many different tactics to encourage criminal suspects to divulge information. This is why it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer by your side when you talk to the police.
History of the Miranda Warnings
Miranda warnings are a set of warnings that are read to criminal suspects in police custody before they are interrogated. The Miranda warnings were established in the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona. In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that any statements made by a criminal suspect during custodial interrogation can only be used against the suspect if the suspect was first reminded of his or her constitutional rights.
Since the Miranda decision, the police have been required to inform a suspect of his or her right to remain silent before interrogating them. If you are questioned by the police, it is important to make full use of this right. You should politely decline to answer any questions until you have an attorney present. Anything you say to the police will only be used to strengthen the prosecution's case against you.
Do Not Fall Prey to Police Interrogation Tactics
Police may use a wide range of psychological trickery and interrogation tactics to gather incriminating information from a criminal defendant. Do not fall victim to these tactics. Police have every right to lie to you to elicit information. For example, police may say that they have evidence linking you to the crime, even if they do not. Police may also try to play on your emotions by telling you that cooperating will make things easier for you. Before you answer any questions or provide information to the police, ask to speak to your lawyer. Your lawyer can advise you on what to say and what not to say.
Contact a San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney Today
At the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock, San Antonio criminal defense attorney Sam Lock has extensive experience representing criminal defendants in Texas. If you or a family member were charged with a criminal offense, call our office today at 210-226-0965 to schedule your free initial consultation.