One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are suspected of a crime is not remaining silent. As someone who is accused of a crime, you have a right to remain silent. You have the opportunity to speak with your attorney rather than to the police first.
You should note that the police do not have to give you a Miranda Rights warning unless they take you into custody. That doesn’t mean that the things you say won’t be used against you, even if they’re said before that point.
Understand your Fifth Amendment rights
You should understand your Fifth Amendment rights, which are better known as Miranda Rights. This amendment gives you the right to stay silent when you are taken into police custody, so that you don’t say something that could be used against you in your case.
When you decide not to speak with the police, you should state that you are taking your Fifth Amendment rights. This is called invoking your rights. Let the officer or officers know that you would like to speak with your attorney.
If you refuse to speak with the police or to answer questions at any point, they are more likely to place you under arrest to bring you in for questioning. Don’t let that scare you. It’s normal for this situation. You can still ask to speak with your attorney, and you should wait to speak with the police until you’ve talked to your attorney about what you should or should not say to the authorities.
Even an idle conversation can lead to your accidentally saying or doing something that incriminates you. Tell officers that you want your attorney as soon as possible, so you don’t accidentally tell them something that could hurt your case.
What should you do if you’re in custody and want to stop answering questions?
If you are already in custody and answering questions, you can still invoke your rights. If at any time you want to stop speaking with the police, state that you’d like an attorney. At that point, they should allow you to contact your attorney for support.