Under both the Florida Constitution and the Constitution of the United States (specifically the Fifth Amendment), a person may not be compelled to testify as a witness against himself in a criminal interrogation or prosecution. This is called the Fifth Amendment Right against Self-Incrimination.

Moreover, a suspect’s request for counsel in response to law enforcement questioning is sufficient to place an officer on notice that a suspect is invoking her constitutional rights. Under prevailing case law, a prosecutor may not use a suspect’s request for a lawyer during police questioning as evidence of guilt.

If you have been charged with a crime, it is essential that you assert your constitutional right to the presence of legal counsel prior to answering any questions from the police or other investigators. An experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney can help ensure all your constitutional rights are safeguarded while your criminal case is pending.

Miranda Warnings

A proper Miranda warning must advise the accused of the following:

  • That he has the right to remain silent
  • That anything said may be used against him in a court of law
  • That he has a right to the presence of an attorney prior to answering any questions from police officers or other investigators
  • That an attorney will be provided by the State if he cannot afford an attorney

If an officer does not advise the accused of his Miranda rights prior to questioning, any evidence improperly obtained may be suppressed at trial. Similarly, if inadmissible evidence is improperly introduced at trial, the criminal defendant may be granted a new trial.

Although a suspect may waive his or her Miranda rights, the waiver must be knowing, intelligent, and voluntary.

Contact a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

If you have been charged with a crime, it is absolutely essential that you speak with an experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer prior to answering any questions from police officers or other investigators. Remember, this request can never be used against you and cannot be used to imply that you are guilty of the underlying criminal charge.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a St. Petersburg, Florida criminal defense lawyer, please call Khonsari Law Group at (727) 269-5300 or contact us online.