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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27482
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Can police or detectives use the fact that you refused to answer

Customer Question

Can police or detectives use the fact that you refused to answer questions in the absense of a lawyer be used against you? depicted as Suspicion of guilt? I am in the US (Kansas).
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
The police know that you have a Constitutional right to remain silent, and that you do not have to answer questions. They are supposed to read you your Miranda warnings before they interrogate you and stop questioning you if you exercise your rights. Statements or confessions coerced from you by the police in violation of your Miranda rights under the Fifth Amendment cannot be used in court against you and must be suppressed.
That said, when the police have you alone in a room and are interrogating you, they are allowed to exert psychological pressure on you all sorts of ways to get to the bottom of crime, and they can certainly tell you that if you don't speak to them, they will know you're guilty to try to fool you into volunteering information. Again, though, behavior like this would be challenged in court at a special suppression hearing, because you have a fundamental right not to answer questions about an incident when you are a suspect of a crime and that right can NEVER be used against you in court.