Important legal rules and decisions

Constitutional rights

Did you know you have constitutional rights?  Do you know that the constitution was enacted for your benefit?  Do you know that constitutional rights are good things?  Do you know that you should invoke your constitutional rights?  Do you know what your constitutional rights are?

Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures

Do you know that you have the right to be left alone?  Do you know that any search conducted of your person, automobile or home without a warrant is presumptively unreasonable?  Do you know that you are the King of your Castle, your residence?

Do not ever consent to a search of your person, your vehicle, or your home.  Generally, law enforcement are required to have a warrant to arrest you, or search you, your vehicle, and your home.  Simply, and politely state that you do not consent to any search or pat down.

Please note however, that if law enforcement does not have a warrant and proceeds to conduct a search anyway, please do not try to stop them or interfere in any way.  You are required by the law to allow them to conduct the search, but then, challenge the constitutionality of the search later in court (if anything is found and seized).  You later bring a motion to suppress evidence found in a search on the grounds that it violated your Fourth Amendment rights.

Fifth Amendment right to remain silent

You have the right to remain silent, and anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.  Sound familiar? Yes? This is your Miranda warning.  And, you should always invoke your rights to remain silent.  Always.  And, you can do so in a polite way, just say,

I invoke my rights to remain silent

I don’t want to talk

I don’t want to answer your questions

You always have a right to remain silent.  You have a right to not be forced to incriminate yourself.  Don’t ever confess to committing a crime.  Just be quiet.  Say, I don’t want to talk and I want a lawyer.  You will glad you did so.

Erroneous case re Fifth Amendment

Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of 1st degree premeditated murder.  On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court committed reversible error when it admitted evidence his post-arrest, pre-Miranda silence, during the State’s case-in-chief, and when it allowed the prosecutor to discuss defendant’s silence in closing argument.  The Minnesota Supreme Court, surprisingly, held that (1) the trial court did not commit plain error in admitting evidence of appellant’s post-arrest, pre-Miranda silence during the state’s case in chief; (2) any error by the trial court in permitting the state to discuss appellant’s post arrest, pre Miranda silence in closing argument was harmless.Miranda warning does not create right to remain silent, the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution did.

With all due respect, this holding should be found to be in great error.  A citizen has the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, so that they cannot be compelled to incriminate themselves.  It should make no difference whether or not a Miranda warning has been read.  The Miranda warnings were created in order to protect a person’s right to remain silent.  The Miranda warnings do not create the right to remain silent.  What if a person already knows that they have the U.S. Constitutional Fifth Amendment right to remain silent before the Miranda warnings are given, and, they choose to remain silent.  The Fifth Amendment stands for the proposition that their silence cannot be used against them, and that the invocation of a constitutional right cannot be used against a person.  The right to remain silent exists before a Miranda warning is given.  The right to remain silent exists all the time.  This is a terrible decision  and needs to be overruled.  The lawyers on the case need to take this to the United States Supreme Court.

DISCLAIMER: Throughout this website, there are statements on various laws. Please note that this is not legal advice, and no reliance should be taken thereon, and an attorney client relationship is not established hereby. Further, please note that these legal statements may not currently be up to date, because the laws can change daily, and this website does not. Thus, you will always need to actually retain a lawyer to establish an attorney client relationship, to rely upon any advice, and to obtain up-to-date legal research. Thank you.