Your right to remain silent when you get questioned after you get arrested is called the Miranda Rights, which came from the Fifth Amendment.
It is your privilege against self-incrimination.
When the officer arrests you, he or she will read your Miranda Rights, which goes, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
The Police must advise you on your Miranda Rights when you are about to be interrogated and while you are under custody.
The main idea is that your silence can’t be used by the prosecution as evidence for your guilt.
But sometimes, the police officer won’t arrest the suspect first, so that they are allowed not to read the Miranda Rights.
This is a strategy you must be mindful of.
Silence Could Mean Guilt In Certain Cases
You have to bear in mind, however, that your right to remain silent isn’t always automatically given.
You may have to explicitly invoke this right to the police to avoid any consequences in the later parts of your trial.
If you have not yet been Mirandized, your silence may somehow be used as evidence of your guilt.
In Salinas v. Texas, 133 S. Ct. 2174 on June 17, 2013, the officer didn’t hold the suspect under custody and interrogated the person for an hour.
When the police officer asked about how a ballistic test could prove that the bullet used was from the suspect’s gun, the interviewee simply fidgeted.
In the court of law, this was considered an indication of the murder suspect’s guilt. The suspect was then charged with murder.
When a person is not arrested, or under custody in any way, he or she can say “I am invoking my Fifth Amendment right to silence.”
This way, their silence won’t be indicated as guilt in a court of law.