Why You Should Not Answer Police Questions If Arrested

 Posted on January 21,2024 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerA police officer is required to read your Miranda Rights if they intend to question you following your arrest.

You have the option to remain silent and to instead call your attorney. In fact, you should only provide answers if your attorney is in the room and advises you to do so.

Our Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer would like to discuss your Fifth Amendment rights and why you should invoke your right to remain silent following an arrest.

Invoking the Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that the government cannot force a person to be a witness against themselves in a criminal case. 

Simply stated, no individual is required to testify regarding a crime that he or she may be connected to in some manner. Although the Fifth Amendment initially only applied to federal criminal trials, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it also applies to state criminal trials.

Anything You Say Can Be Used Against You

You probably think of custodial interrogation as it is portrayed on television, with the defendant in a dark room with a couple of police officers and one bright light hanging from the ceiling.

In reality, custodial interrogation is much less theatrical. Custodial interrogation is when a police officer detains you in order to ask you questions, and you are not free to go.

When a police officer reads you your Miranda Rights, they will inform you that “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” If you do choose to comply with questioning, the information can be used by a prosecutor to incriminate you.

However, even if you do choose to answer the police’s questions, you can invoke your right to remain silent at any point. The police have to respect your decision, and if they keep questioning you, any information you provide will be inadmissible.

Your Words Could Be Misconstrued

If you are answering questions under custodial interrogation, your statement is being electronically recorded. Oral statements are inadmissible in court unless there is a recording. Even so, it is possible that you may make a statement that is misunderstood and used against you.

An example may consist of using an adjective in a certain manner, which is interpreted differently by a police officer. If you answer a question with different wording in court, it could appear that you are lying, known as committing perjury.

The Value of a Criminal Defense Lawyer

A Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer has experience dealing with law enforcement. When you call a criminal defense lawyer, you are calling someone who knows your legal rights and is not afraid to protect you.

Your criminal defense lawyer should be present during any and all police questioning. Although people are concerned that remaining silent will make it appear that they are guilty, it is still best to leave your defense to a professional.

Speak to an Arlington Heights, IL, Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you are facing criminal charges, you have the option to use a public defender. Although highly competent, a public defender will not give your case the specialized attention that it deserves. 

No matter what charges you are facing, our Rolling Meadows, IL, criminal defense lawyer is ready to give your case the time and resources it requires. Contact Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law or by calling 847-253-3400 to schedule your free consultation today.

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