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What Does “Right to Remain Silent” Mean?

 

right to remain silent

If you watch popular shows like Law and Order, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.” You know the phrase, but what does it mean? What rights does this grant you? In this week’s blog, the experts at the Law Offices of Mark W. Catanzaro explore and explain the meaning of this well-known phrase.

Miranda

Since 1966, the United States Supreme Court has required police officers to say this phrase to ensure that individuals getting arrested would be aware of these fundamental and important constitutional rights. In the now famous case, Miranda vs. Arizona, a man named Ernesto Miranda was arrested and interrogated. Because he did not know his rights, he incriminated himself and signed a confession without legal counsel present. Notifying you of your “Miranda rights” is now legally required because of this case.

Silent, But Deadly?

Many people surrender information to the police after getting arrested because they think the police might think they are guilty or are hiding something if they refuse to speak. However, it is important to know that police cannot arrest you unless they have evidence connecting you to a crime. If you were arrested, they may already believe you are guilty or are hiding something. Therefore, remaining silent until legal help arrives cannot hurt you!

Right to an Attorney!

However, the Miranda warnings do not only address the right to remain silent. They also say that you have the right to an attorney and if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you. So, always respond to the reading of your rights by telling the police that you would like to speak with a lawyer before answering any questions.

Your Rights in New Jersey

If you are ever arrested, never speak to the police without an attorney present! You have constitutional rights that the police cannot legally violate. It is important to have an attorney by your side who values and defends all of your rights, regardless of the reason for your arrest. Contact Mark Catanzaro today!

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