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Why you should exercise your right to remain silent

In your lifetime, you probably will not have to worry about sitting across from law enforcement officers in an interrogation room. While you likely consider that fact to be a good thing, it may also be a disservice to you. After all, perhaps the best way to prepare for potential police questioning is to picture yourself in an interrogation room. 

As you probably know, the U.S. Constitution affords you the right not to incriminate yourself. Inherent in this broad civic right is another right: the right to remain silent. While you may think discussing a matter with officers is the best way to resolve it quickly, doing so could put you in significant legal jeopardy. 

Perhaps you are innocent 

If you did not do what officers accuse you of doing, you may think you have nothing to hide. Nonetheless, innocent individuals incriminate themselves all the time. You must remember that officers understand how to elicit information from suspects. While talking to police may not provide evidence of your guilt, you may come off as complacent in a crime. You may also inadvertently implicate yourself in unrelated matters. Either way, exercising your right to remain silent may help you avoid prosecution altogether. 

Police are looking for leads

Routinely, officers use the things suspects say to find investigative leads. They also regularly pass information along to prosecutors to use against defendants in court. You must remember, however, that there is nothing wrong with making law enforcement personnel find other ways to investigate a crime. Even if you ultimately decide to cooperate, staying quiet long enough to seek legal counsel is often an effective way to limit the chance of accidentally incriminating yourself. 

An interrogation by police officers can be intimidating. While asserting your legal right to remain silent can be difficult, it may give you your best opportunity for staying out of trouble, and doing so is usually an effective legal strategy.

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