HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - Jan 21, 2013) - Houston criminal lawyer John Floyd has published Right to Silence under Continued Assault discussing the erosion of the Fifth Amendment in criminal proceedings.
It has long been considered the rule that the Fifth Amendment right to silence included the provision that no adverse inference or comment could be made about a defendant's exercise of his right to silence during a trial associated with a criminal prosecution. However, the Supreme Court has qualified this prohibition by ruling that when a defendant chooses to testify, the prosecution can use his "pre-arrest silence" to impeach him. The high court has now agreed to hear a Texas case to decide upon the admissibility of pre-arrest, pre-Miranda silence as evidence against a defendant who does not testify.
"Texas courts have allowed pre-arrest silence as evidence of guilt. Therefore, even if an individual is innocent, they should never talk to the police once it is clear they are investigating a crime and feel the individual has either some involvement or knowledge about the crime. Until the law is settled in this area, our advice is simple: Anyone contacted by law enforcement, who is suspected of violating the law, should immediately invoke their right to remain silent and request a lawyer. Otherwise, simply remaining silent in the face of pre-arrest, pre-Miranda questions will not protect your constitutional rights, especially in Texas," says Floyd.
For publications regarding this topic and other issues related to criminal law from a defense perspective visit Mr. Floyd's blog Criminal Jurisdiction.
About the John T. Floyd Firm:
John Floyd is Board Certified in Criminal Law and has been rated as among the best and brightest attorneys practicing criminal law with his recognition as one of Newsweek's Leading Criminal Defense Attorneys 2012, Houston's Top Lawyers for the People (2008, 2009), Top Lawyers: Criminal Defense (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012) and his "Superb" rating, scoring 10/10, from AVVO. He has appeared on national television and radio programs as an expert on criminal law related issues and has been quoted in newspapers and other news outlets throughout the country.