Do You Have the Right to Remain Silent?

Law Blog

We've all see countless television crime dramas where the suspect is taken into a small room and read their Miranda Rights. This act allows people to keep silent to avoid self-incrimination when being questioned by the police. The Miranda warning is usually given at the time of arrest, but what about those in police custody who have not been arrested? Here's what you need to know about protecting your rights.

Being Questioned But Not under Arrest

People being questioned without being under arrest are not normally "Mirandarized," although the law does require that people who are held in a locked room or that are under the impression that they are not free to leave, be given a Miranda warning. Sometimes the police will tell the suspect that they are free to leave whenever they like, but are too intimidated to get up and walk out. The issue then becomes a transitory situation where someone might incriminate themselves without being told that they don't have to so so.

Say the Correct Thing

Moreover, a statement given in that situation could lead to self-incrimination and will likely hold up in court. To protect your rights, you must speak up and let the record (or the video taped recording) show that you are invoking your Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination. In order to protect your Constitutional rights, the words "I invoke my privilege against self-incrimination" must be uttered to the police officer.

Don't Just Be Silent

Simply refusing to make a statement while being questioned is not enough, since staying silent could imply guilt, according to a Supreme Court ruling from 2013. This controversial ruling has rocked the legal world, since it now appears that people who are under arrest have more rights than those who are simply being questioned without being given their Miranda statement.

Assert Your Rights

If you are ever unfortunate enough to find yourself in the situation of being questioned by the police, you have rights, whether you have been arrested and read your Miranda Rights or you've just been brought in for questioning. In either case, you must speak up and assert your rights. At most, you are required, in most states, to give your name. Beyond that information, any utterance you make, once you have made your statement that you wish to remain silent, could cause your rights to be nullified.

You also have the right to call a criminal defense attorney and you should do so immediately if you are being detained. If arrested, your one allowed phone call cannot be monitored, and you should strongly consider using it to either call an attorney or a trustworthy friend or family member and have them to contact a lawyer on your behalf. It goes without saying that being involved with a crime in any capacity is a serious matter that deserves the expertise of a criminal attorney.


26 June 2015

Legal Issues in Flipping Property

People with an eye for property can make a great deal of money buying a house, fixing it up and then selling it for a profit. However, there are many legal issues involved in this kind of pursuit. I am an attorney with experience in real estate, and I have helped many clients learn the legal details involved in flipping property. This blog will help you understand what you need to know when you are buying and selling a home as well as information about paying taxes on money made and property owned. Flipping houses can be a very profitable activity as long as you know how to do it legally.