Right to Remain Silent
Constitutional Right in 5th Amendment: The 5th Amendment to the Constitution Grants Individuals the right not to self incriminate themselves. Here is the relevant language:
- “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
- Jury Instructions: Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.1 states that the Defendant has a right to the following jury instruction if the Defendant requests it:
- “In every criminal proceeding a defendant has the absolute right to remain silent. At no time is it the duty of a defendant to prove his/her innocence. From the exercise of a defendant’s right to remain silent a jury is not permitted to draw any inference of guilt, and the fact that a defendant did not take the witness stand must not influence your verdict in any manner whatsoever.”
- “The Attorneys are trained in the rules of evidence and trial procedure, and it is their duty to make all objections they feel are proper. When an objection is made you should not speculate on the reason why it is made; likewise, when an objection is sustained or upheld, by me, you must not speculate on what might have occurred had the objection not been sustained, nor what a witness might have said had he/she been permitted to answer.”
- Miranda Rights: The Right to Remain Silent is protected by Miranda Warnings. Miranda Warnings are those warning given when a person is in custody by the police and being questioned by the police. If a person is both in custody and being questioned and Miranda is not given, then any statements that are made are inadmissible at trial against the Defendant. Miranda acts as a protection against violation of the 5th Amendment.