Knowing Your Right to Remain Silent in South Carolina

“You have the right to remain silent.” 

It’s a line that we’ve all heard tossed around on dramatic cop shows and movies. But what does it really mean for you when you are facing an encounter with the police? It’s crucial to be aware of your legal rights in high-pressure scenarios in order to ensure a fair trial and desired judgments. Here’s what you need to know about invoking your right to silence. 

Miranda Rights

In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court made a huge decision in the case of Miranda v. Arizona. In order to better protect those accused of wrongdoing, they ruled that any person taken into police custody must be informed of their fifth amendment right to an attorney, as well as their freedom to not make any self-incriminating statements. 

What Miranda Rights Mean for You in South Carolina

What do these rights look like in action? If you are taken into police custody, you should hear an official read you the following rights

  1. You have the right to remain silent
  2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law
  3. You have the right to an attorney
  4. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you

It’s important to pay attention to whether or not you were read these rights, as this can impact the ability or inability of your statements to be used in court. Also, note that “police custody” does not mean you have been officially arrested or are sitting in a holding cell. Instead, this refers to any period where it is clear you do not have the freedom to walk away from an encounter with the police. 

Although it is always hard being in a situation where Miranda Rights are read to you, they help to ensure that you receive a fair trial and strong representation. 

Bailey Law Firm 

If you are facing criminal defense charges for a crime like a DUI in Columbia, South Carolina, Bailey Law Firm is here to advise you. Contact us today and schedule your consultation — we’ll help you navigate the complex legal system and get the verdicts you need.