We've all seen "Law and Order". We've all seen those corny cop television shows that try to make reality as dramatic as possible. However, there is one saying in all those shows that holds true throughout life. "You have the right to remain silent". We hear this saying often, but we all need to focus on taking this saying to heart.
For example, have you even been driving in a car, and were maybe going faster than you should have been? An officer pulls you over, and you start to tense up as we all do when we see those flashing blue and red lights.
Then you remember: You have something on your person or in the glove compartment that you should not have with you.
The officer comes walks up to your window, knocks on it, and motions for you to roll down your window. The officer sees that your nervous, then proceeds to ask you a few questions. Finally, the inevitable question appears : "Do you have anything else in your car??" Guess what? you do not have to answer that question. You have a right to remain silent. You DO NOT have to answer the officer's question.
The officer then asks you that one scary question- "Do you mind if I search your vehicle?" Guess what? You can say no and be completely within your legal rights. You might be nervous and think that saying "yes" to that question is the right thing to say. But at the end of the day, you have a constitutional right to protect yourself. Silence can really be golden in a situation like that.
Lets talk about a different situation. A situation where you have been arrested and you are now in the back of a police car. Lets say in this scenario, the police arrest you because they suspect that you are selling drugs. In the back of the police car, its an eerie atmosphere of silence between you and the police officer. That police officer however, may start to ask you questions. Those questions will probably relate to the arrest that just occurred.. Guess what? You do not have to answer those questions either even though you are arrested. More importantly, you especially don't want to say anything if he DOESN'T ask you questions. You see your words may not be used against you if the officer didn't have the right to question you. They will always be used against you if you volunteer information.
The 5th amendment of the Constitution, more specifically your Miranda rights, allow you to remain silent when questioned by police. You always have the right to have an attorney present if the police are going to question you.
So what happens when a police officer asks you questions that make you uncomfortable after you are arrested.? You respectfully say "I am invoking my Miranda right to remain silent and request to have an attorney present." Or you can just say, "I want a lawyer." If all of that is too hard, keep it simple and just be quiet. When it comes to interactions with the police. Silence can really be golden. Most importantly, always know you have a right to counsel and call your lawyer at Jones and Associates, P.C.
By Jacquie L. Jones
Join us on a journey of discovery as we explore issues of custody, criminality, and Probate especially in Delaware County, PA.