When the police begin investigating you, they will do whatever it takes to build a case against you. Sometimes, police officers will trick people into giving up their basic legal rights and protections to further a criminal investigation.
Your right to remain silent is one of your most important protections while in state custody. Police officers cannot compel you to speak to them. They should also advise you of your right to remain silent and obtain legal advice before they question you while you are in their custody.
If you don’t understand and assert your rights as a criminal defendant, you could do yourself a real disservice.
Speaking to the police may hurt your defense
Even if you continue to assert your innocence while talking with the police, they can get you to make statements that can cause trouble for you in court later. For example, they might repeatedly ask you the same questions to prompt either contradictions or a frustrated response.
Those who become angry or aggressive during questioning can end up looking unstable to the courts. Those who contradict prior statements during police questioning can make themselves look like either unreliable witnesses or liars. While the police may try to convince you that they will help you if you talk to them, the opposite is usually true. What you say to them now will likely hurt your chances of a fair outcome later.
Your options to fight back have new limitations
If police officers run roughshod all over your right to remain silent, you can make use of that in your defense strategy. You may be able to challenge the inclusion of statements made to the police after a violation of your Miranda Rights.
However, you no longer have the option of taking the police officers or the department to civil court after such a violation. When you make the wrong statements to police during questioning, those conversations with police may lead to a much more intensive and therefore expensive criminal defense process.
Your best options for protecting yourself from unfair prosecution stem from knowing your rights and asserting them whenever dealing with the police. Learning more about the rights that protect you can help you better fight back against pending criminal charges.