Randall L Vonderheide PC - Logo

Attorney at Law

Phone: (765) 423-2557

Fax: (765) 423-4544

300 Main Street, Suite #500
Lafayette, IN 47901

How important is it to remain silent?

The importance of correctly exercising your constitutional right to remain silent has once again been shown by a recent Indiana case.

In Nichols v. State, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence at trial that the defendant did not attend an interview with a detective or ask about the investigation. The Fifth Amendment allows the prosecutor to use testimony about a person’s pre-arrest, pre-Miranda silence against them in court unless the person explicitly invokes his right to remain silent. Here, the defendant did not invoke the privilege against self-incrimination. Failing to follow up with or contact the detective does not support a finding that he invoked his right to remain silent.

To protect yourself when a police officer calls and wants to talk to you, the lesson here is not to ignore the officer. Ignoring the officer is the worst thing that you can do. Instead, you should immediately hire an attorney who can tell the officer on your behalf that you are exercising your right to remain silent and to counsel. The government will then be unable to use your silence against you in court.

With over 30 years of experience, Steven Knecht is familiar with the possible defenses to possession and other criminal charges. If you find yourself having been arrested, you should immediately hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer that you can trust such as Steven Knecht to help you fight the State because you have a lot at stake on the outcome.

Filed to Ask a Lawyer, Criminal Defense

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