05Mar 2021

A Fine Point About Your Right To Remain Silent

If you are summoned to the police station to be questioned by the police, you will almost certainly be read your Miranda rights before the questioning begins. These are the familiar "You have the right to remain silent" rights. Everything is pretty clear-cut when it comes to Miranda rights and official interrogation settings. If the police do not read you your rights before an official interrogation, the testimony can be thrown out as it would violate the Fifth Amendment.

A major exception to this rule, and one that people may be aware of, is that if you are not in an official interrogation location or situation, the police do not have to read your rights before asking you questions. A lot of this has to do with "police custody." 

If you are free and out in public, in your car, or in your home, a casual conversation with an officer does not constitute being in police custody. If you are brought into an interrogation room, and clearly, if you are under arrest, those situations are generally considered ones where you must be read your rights. Courts expect your rights to be read to you in any formal proceeding.

However, many people are not aware of this, and if they are pulled over or stopped on the street and questioned, they do not have to be read their rights to have the testimony be admissible. Remember, under no circumstances say anything to the police without your lawyer present. Only identify yourself.

If you have been arrested for or charged with domestic assault, you need a lawyer who understands the law and the experience to defend your rights. If you live in Burlington, Essex, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne, or anywhere in the state of Vermont, and have been arrested or charged with DUI or any crime, call Handy Law for aggressive and experienced legal defense