In the video above, the non-attorney spokesman advises citizens that “you can simply remain silent” during police questioning. Not anymore you can’t. “In a 5-4 ruling on Salinas v. Texas in which the conservative members of the Court and Anthony Kennedy determined that if you remain silent before police read your Miranda rights, that silence can and will be held against you,” as Alexander Abad-Santos at theatlanticwire.com reports. And that means “if you’re ever in any trouble with police and want to keep your mouth shut, you will need to announce that you’re invoking your Fifth Amendment right instead of, you know, just keeping your mouth shut.” The majority ruling held . . .
When petitioner had not yet been placed in custody or received Miranda warnings, and voluntarily responded to some questions by police about a murder, the prosecution’s use of his silence in response to another question as evidence of his guilty at trial did not violate the Fifth Amendment because petitioner failed to expressly invoke his privilege not to incriminate himself in response to the officer’s question.
Click here to read the full ruling. If you can’t be bothered you’d do well to follow Mr. Adbad-Santos’ advice. If the po-po are questioning you about, say, a defensive gun use, and you want to STFU (sensibly enough), you now have to “expressly” invoke your right to silence.
Quite what those “magic words” are, legally speaking, is not clear. I’d go with “I refuse to answer any questions until I speak with my attorney.” Early. Like . . . straight away.