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Your Right to Remain Silent: A Good Criminal Defense Starts with You

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, police interrogationSome people mistakenly believe that their criminal defense starts after getting arrested. However, if you understand your rights, your potential defenses will start when you first come in contact with law enforcement. One of the most important rights to understand is your right to remain silent.

The Right to Remain Silent and the Constitution

The phrase “the right to remain silent” is not in the U.S. Constitution. Instead this right comes from the aftermath of a Supreme Court case called Miranda v. Arizona. In this case the Supreme Court held that law enforcement had a duty to inform people who were under arrest about their constitutional rights. The right to remain silent refers to the right not to be compelled to incriminate yourself. The Fifth Amendment prohibits police from forcing a confession.

How to Protect Your Rights

The police have the right to ask anyone questions. You have a duty to cooperate with the police to some extent. However, if the police are asking you questions about a crime, you do not have to answer their questions. If you have not been arrested, you can ask the police if you are free to leave. If the police tell you that you are free to leave, you should leave and contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. If you are not free to leave, you should consider yourself under arrest. You can inform the police officers that you are exercising your right to remain silent and wish to speak with a lawyer. Sometimes, law enforcement personnel may try and convince you to talk by telling you that you look guilty if you do not cooperate.

Sometimes even harsher tactics may be used. However, it is never in your best interest to speak to the police when you are suspected of committing a crime. The truth is that law enforcement personnel likely already believe you are guilty and want you to incriminate yourself. You help your own criminal defense when you exercise your right to remain silent. If you have arrested or accused of a crime, you need to speak with skilled and experienced Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer. Do not speak to anyone about your case until you have consulted with a lawyer.

Call the law firm of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP at 414-271-1440 today to setup your consultation.



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