In a lot of white collar crime prosecutions, the state is able to leverage the accused individual’s own statements against him or her. This is because far too many people misunderstand their right to remain silent and the obligations that law enforcement has to advise them of that right.
Let’s start with the basics. You have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. This means that you always have the right to remain silent and you’re never required to talk to investigators. Of course, there may be instances where speaking to the police or to prosecutors is in your best interests, but you need to make sure that doing so is strategically wise.
The Miranda warning
The police are only required to inform you of your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney if you’re being subjected to custodial interrogation, which means that you’re being questioned by the police during a time when you’re being held and are unable to leave. If you’re unsure if you’re in custody, then simply ask if you can leave. If you can’t, then you’re being interrogated and should be read your Miranda rights.
Act on your rights
Remember, you can have an attorney by your side at any point in your investigation. Don’t let the police use sneaky tactics where they try to buddy up to you in hopes that you’ll open up to them. Your future may be on the line, and you can’t afford to slip up. That’s why it’s critical that you understand your rights and act on them as quickly and as strategically as possible. With a strong advocate on your side, hopefully you can position yourself as favorably as possible to protect your future.