We have all heard of the infamous Steven Avery case. It’s posted all over main stream media and it is even a Netflix movie, called ‘Making a murderer.’ The Steven Avery case is a perfect example of a Defendant who did not know their rights and failed to consult with an attorney before speaking. Brendan Dassey, Steven Avery’s nephew had his conviction overturned after it was revealed that his confession may have been coerced by investigators.
Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin of Milwaukee has said, “investigators made repeated claims to Dassey that they already knew what happened and falsely promised that he had nothing to worry about. These repeated false promises, when considered in conjunction with all relevant factors, most especially Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary.” (Fieldstadt, 2016) Evidence of this involuntary confession has taken nine years to come to light, nine years which Brendan Dassey had sat in a cell for a crime he admitted to committing under severe duress.
Does the statement, "you have the right to remain silent" sound familiar? While most of us have only ever heard it read to fictional characters, it is a very real statement. This infamous line is just a snippet of your legal rights when you are placed under arrest, referred to as Miranda Rights. As your Miranda Rights outline, we all have the right to remain silent. That statement is bold and means a lot. You do not have to talk to the police. Period, end of story. So if you feel threatened, coerced, OR it’s not in your best interest to speak…… your best solution is to REMAIN SILENT and get experienced legal advice. The Miranda warning makes this so:
“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 TALK TO A LAWYER AND TO HAVE YOUR LAWYER PRESENT WITH YOU DURING ANY QUESTIONING . . .”
It is ultimately your choice to decide whether to use these rights, as anything you say can and will be used against you. After experiencing a traumatic event such as a traffic stop that leads to an arrest; emotions are likely to be high and may unconsciously cause words to be spoken which may have only been said due to the pressure of the situation or to inebriation. Take advantage of your Miranda Rights and employ your right to remain silent.
Contact our office to understand your options.