How to Invoke Your Right to Remain Silent
If you decide to speak to law enforcement about the facts of your case without an attorney being present, then you are waiving your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and your Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
Don’t waive important constitutional rights until AFTER you have spoken to an attorney. Your attorney is often in the best position to explain your side of the story to the law enforcement officer.
You can invoke your rights by saying:
“I’m taking the 5th and 6th amendment. I will remain silent until after I speak with my attorney.”
Then remain silent. If you are lawfully detained, you can tell the officer your name, address, and date of birth without waiving your rights.
People sometimes ask: “Won’t invoking my right to remain silent make me look guilty.” Maybe, but if your case goes to trial, the jury will never be told that you invoked your rights. In other words, the fact that you remained silent cannot be used against you.
If you hire a criminal defense attorney, the attorney can send a notice to the investigating officer that you are invoking your rights under the 5th and 6th amendments. This notice prevents the officers from asking you any questions about the accusations or coming to your home to interrogate you.
In the event the officer does intend to make an arrest, your attorney can help you surrender under terms that may speed up your release, keep you safe, and save you money. We can contact the prosecutor to discuss lowering the bond amount.
Keep in mind that during a declared “state of emergency” for the COVID-19 crisis, some criminal charges are more serious because they come with a higher bond amount and potential penalties.
At Sammis Law Firm, our criminal justice attorneys also handle other critical details that might minimize the embarrassment, stress, and expense that might otherwise accompany the arrest.
Rights Guaranteed in the Miranda Warning
The amendment that gives you the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself during all stages of a criminal investigation or prosecution is the Fifth (5th) Amendment.
The amendment that gives you the right to the assistance of counsel at all stages of a criminal investigation or prosecution is the Sixth (6th) Amendment. You can invoke your right to counsel by saying, “I want to speak to an attorney. I am not answering any other questions until after I speak to an attorney.”
Your 5th amendment right to remain silent and your 6th amendment right to counsel are both explained in the Miranda rights warning read by officers before a custodial interrogation.