"You have the right to remain silent." Anyone who has seen a cop drama knows those words by heart -- and if you have been arrested, you should have been read that statement as a part of your Miranda rights. Colorado criminal defendants have the right to refrain from talking to police officers as they are being taken into custody. They are also afforded the right to an attorney, who can provide them with additional information about their legal options. What do your Miranda rights mean for your criminal defense case? Today, we explore the implications of those rights upon the allegations you may be facing.
How do I properly invoke my right to remain silent?
The answer to this question is fairly obvious; you simply do not talk to authorities. It is advisable, however, to clearly tell authorities that you intend to exercise your right to remain silent as you are being arrested. If you do so, you may be able to use additional Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination, particularly if police officers hound or harass you in order to obtain information.
Is my right automatically waived simply because I choose to talk to authorities?
No. Those leading the investigation must clearly establish that the suspect is waiving the right to remain silent. This waiver need not be specific. In other words, you do not have to say, "I waive my Miranda rights." If you make voluntary statements after you are informed about your rights, that information could be admissible in court.
Why are Miranda rights important?
Defendants who are facing felony charges and other serious allegations should realize the implications of their Miranda rights. You have the right to avoid incriminating yourself to police officers -- and you have the right to an attorney during every stage of your criminal defense process. Your attorney can be an important ally from the moment you are arrested.
Source: FindLaw, "Invoking the Right to Remain Silent" Sep. 30, 2014