Utah Lawyer
Call Utah Lawyer - Canyons Law Group
Call Utah Law Firm
Canyons Law Group - Serving Clients in Northern Utah and Statewide
Call 801-448-7451 - Find the Right Lawyer for Your Case
Utah Law Firm - Serving the Wasatch Front and all of Utah
Canyons Law Group - Find the Right Attorney
Utah Estate Planning AttorneysUtah Wills & Trusts AttorneyUtah Adoption AttorneysUtah Criminal Defense AttorneysFind the Right Criminal Defense AttorneyUtah Family Law & Divorce AttorneyUtah Family Law & Divorce AttorneyUtah Injury and Accident Attorneys

Fifth Amendment - Don't Say Anything

Credit must be given (anonymously, to protect client confidentiality) to a client who actually understood the Miranda warnings. After being arrested on suspicion of certain illegal activities, the arresting officer read him the standard Miranda warnings and then asked if he wanted to speak with police and answer questions relating to the incident in which he was a suspect. In other words, the officer asked if he wanted to be interrogated and confess to the suspected crimes.

Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against YouWe have all heard the Miranda warnings untold numbers of times in television programs and movies. They are referenced in news reports, and sometimes even find their way into casual conversation. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you...."

This client actually understood the warning he was given by the police officer. When the officer finished reading Miranda and asked him if we wanted to talk, he responded (paraphrasing here), "I don't mean to be disrespectful, but you just told me that anything I say will be used against me. If what I say will be used against me, then I don't think I should say anything."

Right to Remain Silent - Risks and Benefits

The right to remain silent (aka, privilege against self-incrimination) is guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Miranda warnings do not create the right. Instead, the right to remain silent and the privilege against self-incrimination exist independent of any warnings or notices given by police. Miranda warnings are required under United States Supreme Court precedent, as a way to help prevent coerced confessions and to ensure that people understand their rights and have the opportunity to make an informed decision when being asked to give up those rights.

Engaging in a risk-benefit analysis can be an important part of the process of making an informed decision regarding your rights. There will always be some level of risk associated with making any statement to police. As stated in the Miranda warnings, any information you provide to police "can and will be used against you." Understanding that level of risk is necessary in order to intelligently balance that risk against any potential benefit that may come from talking with police.

When the benefits outweigh the risks, it may make sense to waive the right to remain silent and instead choose to talk with police. When there are no identifiable benefit, or when potential benefits are small and risks are great, exercising the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and refusing to answer questions may be the best option.

Right to Have an Attorney Present

The right to remain silent and the right to counsel are independent rights. If you choose to speak to police, you still have the right to be represented by an attorney and to have your attorney present during any questioning, interview, or interrogation with police. Consultation with an attorney prior to deciding whether to speak with police and the assistance of counsel during questioning are both important constitutional rights.

Invoking Fifth Amendment Privileges and Rights

If you choose exercise your privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment and not speak with police, you should make it clear to the officers involved that you are exercising your constitutional rights. Simply telling the police you don't want to talk or refusing to answer questions can leave the door open for police to make repeated attempts to question you. Not clearly stating that you are invoking your Fifth Amendment rights can also leave the door open for a prosecutor to try to use your silence against you in court.

A simple statement can often be sufficient - "I am invoking my Fifth Amendment rights, and I refuse to answer any questions until I have first had an opportunity to consult with my attorney." But it is always best to consult with an attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

Contact a Utah Attorney

Having the assistance and counsel of an experienced attorney can be critical when facing possible criminal charges. We are pleased to provide legal services to clients all along the Wasatch front, and throughout all of Utah. Contact us today to arrange for an initial attorney consultation.

Make a Payment to Your Account
Contact a Lawyer
** All fields are required. **
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

Estate Planning - Wills & Trusts Wills & Trusts - A good estate plan can help protect you and those you love. It can also ensure that your assets are used and distributed according to your intents. The estate planning process requires more than just filling out a downloadable form. But it doesn't have to be overly complex or expensive. A good attorney can help you understand how a will, living trust, durable power of attorney, health care directive, and other estate planning tools can work together to protect you and your family, and give you peace of mind. We work personally with clients to develop an individualized estate plan, tailored to meet their needs and circumstances. Contact us to start the estate planning process today.

Estate Planning »
Criminal Defense Lawyer UtahCriminal Defense - If you are facing prosecution for a criminal charge in Utah, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can give you the best chance of raising a successful defense. With years of experience defending cases ranging from the most serious felony charges including murder and other aggravated felonies, we work with clients facing both misdemeanor and felony charges in Utah's district courts and justice courts. The consequences of a conviction can be serious. Defending a criminal case in Utah is not something you should do on your own. Contact us today to see how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

Criminal Defense »
Utah Family Law Attorney Family Law - Our attorneys work closely with you to protect your rights and your family. Divorce and adoption are two of the most common areas of practice in the field of family law. They also help you to obtain guardianship appointment when needed, address custody, parent time, child support and other important legal matters relating to the safety or security of your family. Our attorneys are also aware that changes in your family status can necessitate modifications to your estate plans. We can work with you to ensure that your estate plans are updated to meet your changing needs and circumstances. Protect what matters most. Contact us to arrange for an intial confidential consultation.

Family Law »
Injury and Accident Attorney Accidents & Injuries - An accident can leave you with serious injuries that may affect your ability to work, your ability to care for and support your family, your quality of life, and much more. If you have been seriously injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and other injuries and damages. Filing a formal lawsuit or "going to court" is not always necessary. A good attorney can help protect your rights and work with you to find the best solution for your circumstances. Call now for an initial consultation.

Accidents & Injuries »
Constitutional Education Initiative | Legal Resources | FAQ
Home | Attorney Profile | Practice Areas | Contact Us

Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties - and all of Utah.

With offices in Salt Lake City and Davis County, the Canyons Law Group provides legal services to clients throughout Utah.
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 South Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call 801-448-7451 to arrange for a confidential initial consultation.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The information and materials contained in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.