“You have the right to remain silent.”
This line shows up in just about every cop show ever made. But it’s more than just a snappy piece of dialogue. This is one of your most fundamental rights as a criminal defendant. It’s also a lot more important than many people realize. This is the first line in what is known as your Miranda Rights. There is a good reason that it shows up first. As a Detroit DUI defense lawyer, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you understand what the right to remain silent involves and how critical it is for preserving your freedoms.
What is the Right to Remain Silent?
As we mentioned, the right to remain silent is part of your Miranda Rights. These rights extend to anyone charged with a crime. The police are required to inform you of these rights upon your arrest. The right to remain silent may seem self-explanatory, but a lot of defendants underestimate how far this right extends. Any Detroit DUI defense lawyer could tell you stories about defendants who started talking even when they have no reason to. The right to remain silent means that you do not have to offer any information at any time for any reason. You can literally zip up your lips and be completely within your legal rights. It does not matter what the police say, how angry they get, or what kind of threats they make. You do not have to say a word for any reason. And as you are about to learn, the less you say the stronger your defense is likely to be.
Why is the Right to Remain Silent Important?
Keeping quiet is so important because if you are a suspect in a crime the police are never on your side. They may claim to be helping you out, trying to get your side of the story, or simply clear up some confusion. But as a Detroit DUI defense lawyer, I know from experience that these are only tricks. The cops only want you to speak up so that they can gather information, trap you in a lie, or confirm their suspicions. They do not care about your best interests. And they will not hesitate to manipulate you in any and every way possible. Luckily, you have the right to remain silent. And you are not compelled to speak up under any circumstances. Miranda Rights protect you from self-incrimination. Why not exercise them to the fullest extent? Do no say a word until you have a Detroit DUI defense lawyer present to give you guidance and counsel.
Where Does the Right to Remain Silent Come From?
The Miranda Rights that now seem so ubiquitous have only existed since the mid-1960s. In 1963, an Arizona man named Ernesto Miranda was arrested on suspicion of having committed a series of sexual assaults. He was later convicted of those crimes, but solely because of information that he provided. Not because of any physical evidence or eye-witness testimony. Even though it was his Miranda’s right under the Fifth Amendment not to speak, he was not informed of this right and mistakenly thought it was a requirement to provide information. Miranda’s lawyers were champions of the cause of client’s rights, and they eventually took their case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1966, the highest court in the land ruled that police must read anyone being arrested a set of “Miranda Rights” informing them of their constitutional rights as defendants. Today, Miranda Rights are a centerpiece of the judicial system and a shining example of equal protection under the law. The right to remain silent does not exist in every country. In some, there are severe penalties for not speaking up.
What to Do When You Remain Silent
You have the right to remain silent, but you should utter just one phrase “I want a lawyer.” At this point, the police will have to stop asking you most questions. They must allow you to reach out to a Detroit defense lawyer. No matter what the charge is, what the evidence against you is, or how you plan to plea. Keep quiet and partner with a Detroit DUI defense lawyer immediately. It is the job of your legal counsel to put your best interests front. Their job is to advocate on your behalf no matter what. Without a Detroit DUI defense lawyer, no one is looking out for you during one of the most confusing and consequential moments in your whole life.
Exercise your right to remain silent, and do not neglect your Miranda Rights. Then reach out to a Detroit DUI defense lawyer who will fight for your rights and freedoms. Call The Law Office of Gary Wilson at 313-246-8885.