The right to remain silent is one of the most fundamental rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution contains a self-incrimination provision, which protects the rights of individuals facing criminal charges from being induced or forced into incriminating themselves.
If you are facing an arrest in Pennsylvania, it is important to be aware of your right to remain silent, know why it matters, and under what circumstances you can invoke it.
How Does the Right to Remain Silent Work in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, police officers are required to provide Miranda warnings before questioning any individual who is in their custody. These warnings include:
- You have the right to remain silent and choose not to answer any questions.
- If you do choose to respond, what you say can be used against you in court.
- You have the right to be represented by a criminal defense lawyer.
- Your lawyer can be present while you are questioned.
- If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, you will be provided with one.
One of the most important things you need to know is that the police are not required to provide Miranda warnings any time they talk to a potential suspect. Sometimes, the police might question you without arresting you or taking you into custody.
In such a scenario, the police are not required to provide Miranda warnings. So, whenever you are questioned by a police officer, you should explicitly tell them that you will talk only in the presence of your lawyer.
Why the Right to Remain Silent Matters
Police officers are trained to extract information from suspects using a variety of different methods. For instance, they might provide you with false information in order to get the information they want from you or to get you to admit your offense. The important thing to be noted here is that there is no federal or state law that prohibits police officers from lying to suspects. It is perfectly legal for them to lie to you in order to get a confession.
Based on this, being interrogated by a police officer can be a highly stressful and intimidating experience. If you are unable to handle the pressure – which you most likely won’t be able to – you might blurt out something that could make things worse for you.
It’s why you should talk to a police officer or prosecutor only in the presence of your criminal defense lawyer.
When Can You Invoke Your Right to Be Silent?
You can invoke your right to remain silent when you are in the custody of a police officer and interrogated about a crime. It’s essential to note that you cannot invoke your right to be silent by simply not answering any questions. You need to tell the police officer that you wish to invoke your right to be silent.
Facing Criminal Charges in Pennsylvania? Invoke Your Right to Remain Silent and Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney!
The right to remain silent is sacrosanct and is protected by the Constitution. If you are facing criminal charges, you should invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and get legal representation as soon as you can.
Attorney Basil D. Beck III has over 25 years of experience in handling criminal cases – ranging from traffic offenses to DUI, drug possession, burglary, and sexual and violent crimes. He can be with you at every step of the process, provide you with the advice and support you need, and fight aggressively to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom.
Contact the Law Offices of Basil D. Beck III today at 610-239-8870 or send us a message using our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer.