Should You Answer Questions After You are Read Miranda Rights?

By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal

(972) 369-0577

Criminal defense attorneys will universally tell you no — and with good reason.  Prisons are full of people who wish they hadn’t answered questions.

By reading your Miranda warnings, the police are telling you that they have already decided you’re guilty.

At best, they are telling you that they think their investigation may wind-up with you being arrested so they are “crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s.”

“But I’ve got nothing to hide?!?

Maybe so.  But there are some bad assumptions you are making with that good faith rationale.

The main problem is that you are trying to convince someone that has already made-up their mind.  That is like trying to convince the vending machine that stole your dollar to give it back.

Also — you don’t know what the police are looking for with their questions and they do.  They may want just one key admission to satisfy a legal element they may already know but can’t otherwise prove.  You may tell them worlds of information they would have never known and now they’ve got a better case against you that they ever dreamed.  They’re happy letting you think you’re winning them over.

Police bank on the fact most of us were raised to respect and cooperate with authority.  But an officer’s job is to investigate crime and build cases against people.  Either they can prove all the elements of a crime or they cannot.  If they’ve got no evidence of certain elements — the only way they can get it is out of your mouth!  There is no advantage to talking with them — and if there is — there is no harm in consulting a lawyer first!

*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. This article is not intended to be legal advice.  For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.

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