5th Amendment: Right to Remain Silent

Taking the Fifth: You Have the Right to Remain Silent

You have heard of someone "taking the fifth". This is a reference to the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and can be invoked to protect a person from being a witness against himself. In other words, it is your important right to remain silent. The Miranda warnings evolved to require law enforcement officers to advise a person of his Fifth Amendment rights before questioning as follows:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?

There are situations where the police may attempt to gain a confession or incriminating statements without advising a person of his or her right to remain silent.

How Our Firm Fights Fifth Amendment Violations

Our Macomb County criminal defense attorneys look at all of the facts and circumstances to determine if a statement or confession by a person was obtained by deceptive law enforcement tactics. There may be grounds to suppress a statement if it was involuntary or made under duress.

We will ask you several questions to determine if your statement was voluntary:

  • Were you advised of your Miranda Rights?
  • Where did you make the statements (police department)?
  • Were you under arrest at the time of the statements?
  • Who else was present in the room during questioning?
  • Was the officer wearing a uniform or gun during questioning?
  • Were you under the influence of any medication or alcohol?
  • Were you deprived of sleep, water or nutrition prior to questioning?
  • How long were you at the police department or detained?
  • Did the police ever threaten you or state that you cannot leave?
  • Did the police ever threaten that they would tell your employer if you did not cooperate?
  • Do you have any prior or present history of mental illness?

Our criminal defense lawyers will attack illegally obtained confessions at pretrial conference, preliminary examination or upon filing a motion for a hearing in the district or circuit courts in Macomb County, Oakland County and Wayne County.