The “right to remain silent” represents one of the most valuable rights people under arrest could access. Someone under investigation or arrest in Texas may be encouraged to speak only to an attorney because the person might incriminate him or herself when speaking to law enforcement. When the case moves to court, the defendant’s statements become evidence. Unfortunately, the statements might make a defense incredibly difficult.
A conviction of a crime might lead to significant jail time and fines, so it makes sense to exercise one’s rights when dealing with law enforcement personnel. Not everyone knows their rights, but the “Miranda warning” relayed by arresting officers states those rights.
Sometimes, people who face arrest hear their Miranda warnings but do not understand them. While told they have the “right to remain silent,” they may continue to speak to the police. When told they have a “right to an attorney,” they may let themselves face questioning without an attorney present. Things could become complicated if the police blatantly violate someone’s rights. For example, repeatedly refusing someone’s request for an attorney and intimidating someone to answer questions might indicate a violation of the person’s rights.
Another point worth noting is that law enforcement need not give someone a Miranda warning until the individual is “in custody” or “under interrogation.” Anyone who speaks to a police officer and makes statements outside of these two parameters could make a crucial error. The statements could be entered into evidence, so there are reasons why attorneys suggest speaking to no one and remaining silent.
An experienced criminal law attorney might suspect that their client’s rights were violated by law enforcement. If so, the attorney may take appropriate action in court.