What Happens After I Assert My Right To Remain Silent?

First of all, good for you. Too many people think they can talk their way out of trouble but usually just dig a deeper hole.  If the police are talking to you anything you say will be reported back by a police officer who may already suspect you of a crime.  Unless cameras are rolling, your comments will have the officer’s interpretation on them.  Even if the cameras are rolling, anything you say can, and will, be distorted and used against you.

Once you invoke your right to remain silent, the police must cease all questioning unless you start talking to them again.  “An accused, having expressed his desire to deal with the police only through counsel, is not subjected to further interrogation by the authorities until counsel has been made available to him, unless the accused himself initiates further communication, exchanges, or conversation with the police.”  Shelly v. State, 262 So. 3d 1 (Fla. 2018).  If communication is started again, it is a requirement “that the accused be specifically given his or her Miranda rights after an alleged reinitiation.”  Shelly v. State, 262 So. 3d 1, 13 (Fla. 2018), citing Welch v. State, 992 So. 2d 206 (Fla. 2008).  “In other words, police must again re-read the Miranda rights before commencing further conversation.”  Quarles v. State, 290 So. 3d 505, 507 (Fla. 4th DCA 2020).  If these rules are violated, tell your attorney so she can then file a motion to suppress the evidence due to illegal police interrogation.  Your attorney will appreciate that you invoked your rights and kept your mouth shut.

False:  The police do not have to read you Miranda warnings (“You have the right to remain silent” etc.) unless you are:  1) Not free to leave, and 2) Being questioned about something that could potentially incriminate you. General questions regarding identity and vehicle ownership are not considered to be incriminating questions which is why officers are able to talk to motorists during traffic stops.  Some officers cross the line during traffic stops by asking questions beyond mere identification.  “Do you have any drugs or weapons in the car?” is often followed by, “So you don’t mind if I search, do you?”  Don’t be tricked into consenting to a search of your vehicle.

True: Officers are allowed to ask you to exit a vehicle for the purpose of safety during a traffic stop.  However, this should not be used as an excuse to hold you longer than necessary to write the ticket.

Since 1999, I have filed motions to suppress for many clients. If you have been subject to illegal questioning, search, or seizure, feel free to contact me:

Jessica J. Travis, Attorney, DefendBrevard.com, 1370 Bedford Drive, Suite 104, Melbourne, Florida, 32937, 321-728-7280, contact@DefendBrevard.com,  www.DefendBrevard.com.

If you are facing criminal charges or have been interviewed by the police, do not rely on this article for legal advice.  Consult with an attorney.  March 13, 2023.