Roberts Law Group, PLLC
North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

On March 13, the North Carolina Supreme Court announced that courts throughout the state would close for at least 30 days, in an effort to protect public safety amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Roberts Law Group will remain open during this time. We are available to meet with new and existing clients in-person or on the phone. Please call our law office to schedule a time to meet.

We FIGHT for the Best Results
We FIGHT for the Best Results

When In Doubt, Demand Your Right To Remain Silent

What you say and what you don't say can be used against you in a court of law, according to a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Salinas v. Texas, the Court ruled that Salinas' silence during questioning by law enforcement about a murder could be presented in court to help prove that he is guilty of the crime charged.

How is that possible? How can exercising your right to remain silent be used against you in a criminal proceeding? If you are under investigation for a crime or being questioned about your involvement in a crime, regardless of whether or not you have been arrested or charged, you should call an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Police suspected Salinas was involved in a recent murder and brought him to the station for questioning. He had not been arrested yet and police had not read him his Miranda rights. According to reports, Salinas answered some questions and remained silent on others, particularly a question about whether a gun found in his possession would match the shell casings found at the murder scene.

Salinas did not answer and prosecutors presented his silence during police questioning as evidence of his guilt. He was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder.

According to the Supreme Court, Salinas did not assert his right to silence or against self-incrimination by claiming the protections of the Fifth Amendment. The Court said that the Fifth Amendment must be expressly be invoked; in other words, Salinas could not assert his right to remain silent by remaining silent. He had to open his mouth and tell officers that he was exercising that right.

An ironic reading of the Fifth Amendment perhaps? The right to remain silent must be stated out loud by the person requesting its protections.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Supreme Court Rules That Pre-Miranda Silence Can Be Used In Court," June 17, 2013

Client Reviews

Get Legal Help Now
Let Us Help You

Put our team of criminal defense lawyers on your side today. You are one phone call or email away from getting your questions answered by an experienced defense attorney.

Call us at 877-880-5753 to set up a free consultation or send us an email.

Fill out the form below for a Free Consultation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Call 877-880-5753 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Offices open weekdays 8am - 7pm, Saturdays 9am - 5pm