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Right to Remain Silent

One of the most important and well known parts of the U.S. Constitution for those charged with a crime is the 5th Amendment and the Right To Remain Silent.  But what are the Miranda Rights and how does this play out in the U.S. legal system.  The Miranda Rights are a set of instructions that are required by police to be communicated to the person being charged with a crime.  If these Rights are not communicated, then any admission to the crime given by the person charged cannot be used in Court against the person.  The rights are necessary to uphold the legal system’s value of the right against self-incrimination.  Throughout history in the United States¹, there have been numerous examples of false confessions made under the pressure from authorities.  The intent of the Miranda Rights and the 5th amendment is to protect against these false confessions.

In my practice, too many times a defendant does not exercise their Right to Remain Silent.  This is usually because they do not realize anything they say will be used against them in the criminal charges.  The only thing that someone needs to say while in custody or being questioned by the police are these words: I won’t say anything without my lawyer.

¹https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_confession#United_States

 

 

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PeteMichling