What is a violation of your right to remain silent?

If a law enforcement officer places you under arrest, you have the right to remain silent. This right ensures that you do not incriminate yourself in a crime by providing evidence the prosecutor could use against you in court.

An officer may try to get you to talk. They may use tactics to try to make you think that if you talk, you can get out of trouble. While these are legal, officers cannot may you speak to them if you evoke your right to remain silent, according to the ACLU.

Answering questions

Even if the questions an officer asks do not seem harmful, they could prove to be so. For example, answering questions about what you were doing or where you were going may seem innocent, but they are part of a plan to get further information from you.

You do not have to answer any questions about your immigration status, even if that does not relate to the situation. Your rights extend to this type of questioning, even if you are not a U.S. citizen.

Remember also, your words could take on new meaning once in court. So, do not answer any questions once you state you wish to remain silent.

Ask for a lawyer

You also have the right to an attorney. If you ask for one right away, it will usually stop officers from asking any more questions or trying to get you to talk. You should continue to state that you wish to remain silent as well and only talk to your attorney once he or she gets there. Any conversations with your attorney are private.