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Do I really have the right to remain silent if I’m arrested?

by | Jun 3, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

You have heard it in most crime movies or TV shows you have ever watched. Whenever the police put the cuffs on someone, one of the officers says, “You have the right to remain silent…”

If you have ever been arrested in real life by Atlanta police, the arresting officer should have told you the same thing as part of your Miranda warning. But is it true? Do you really have the right not to talk to the police, no matter what tactics they use to get you to confess?

The Fifth Amendment

The answer is yes. The moment you are arrested or taken into police custody, your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination kicks in. Among other things, this means you do not have to make any statements to police or prosecutors that might be used as evidence to convict you in court.

Though the police are supposed to advise you of your right to remain silent before interrogating you, whether they do it or not does not affect that right. It belongs to every American. However, if no officer reads you your Miranda rights and proceeds to interrogate you, anything you say, even a confession, may be inadmissible in court. In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the police must tell criminal suspects about their right to remain silent (among other rights) to ensure that the person knows they have that right.

Despite this, you should know that police officers are trained to get people to give up their rights. Requesting an attorney as soon as the police begin questioning you is your best bet. Your defense lawyer can help make sure your rights are preserved at every stage.