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Miranda rights: exercising your right to be silent

We recently ran across an article in the Leaf-Chronicle that we found interesting and thought you might, too. It was about a 38-year-old Kentucky man arrested by Montgomery County Sheriff's Office deputies and a Judicial District Task Force agent in Clarksville.

Deputies arrived at the Oak Plains Road residence to serve a drug search warrant on another person. While the law enforcement officers were there, they apparently saw "a glass pipe with marijuana residue in plain sight on top of the mattress." They also reported that they found a loaded handgun under a mattress. 

The Kentucky man was then read his Miranda rights by officers. It might well have been a good idea for him to exercise his rights both to remain silent and to an attorney. Instead, he reportedly told officers that he had used the pipe to smoke marijuana. He also allegedly said he had moved the firearm from the living room to the bedroom.

In addition, he apparently told officers he was convicted of methamphetamine possession 20 years ago in Kentucky.

After all was said and done, the man was arrested on drug charges and firearms charges.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys tell clients in similar circumstances to exercise their right to remain silent. Politely decline to give officers any information without first speaking with their Clarksville attorney.

In that way, they know their rights are protected, first and foremost, and they can also receive advice about making statements to police officers; potentially incriminating statements that can later be used against them in court.

Many people who speak to officers without an attorney inadvertently misstate facts or phrase statements in ways that are then misinterpreted - intentionally or mistakenly - by law enforcement officials.

Speak first with an attorney who knows the law and will fight to protect your rights and interests.

Source: The Leaf-Chronicle, "Deputies arrest suspect on felony firearm, drug charges," Philip Grey, Oct. 11, 2014

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